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TALES 



FROM THE GERMAN. 



TRANSLATED 



BY NATHANIEL GREENE. 



VOLUME II. 



BOSTON: 

AMERICAN STATIONERS' COMPANY, 

JOHN B, RUSSELL, 

1837. 



BOSTON: 

Sp.muel N. Dickinson, Printer, 

52, Washington street. 






THE LICHTENSTEINS. 



A TALE OF THE TIMES OF THE THIRTY YEARS WAR 



BY C. F. VAN DER VELDE. 



CHAPTER I. 



On christmas-eve, in the year 1628, Katharine, 
the wife of the merchant Fessel, of Schweidnitz, 
was standing in her large back parlor, with her infant 
upon her arm, arranging with feminine taste, upon a 
long table covered with a snow-white cloth, the Christ- 
mas gifts destined for her husband, her children, and 
the other members of her family. 

At a table in the corner, sat the book-keeper, 
Oswald Dorn, giving the finishing touch to a minia- 
ture manger, which he had ingeniously constructed 
for the children of his employer. He now placed a 
beautifully painted angel, cut out of isinglass, in the 
side of the manger in which the infant Savior lay, 
for the purpose of indicating the celestial mission of 
the heavenly messenger by its transparent brilliancy. 
He gave yet another satisfied look at the well execu- 
ted work, and then approached Katharine, who had, 
meanwhile, spread out an infinite variety of useful 
and agreeable presents, articles of dress, pieces of 
coin, books, toys, &c. She was now distributing 
=^1 



b TALES FROM THE GERMAN. 

to each one his portion of cakes, sweet biscuits, sugar 
animals, gingerbread, apples and nuts, with just 
impartiality. In deep thought, the book-keeper took 
from the table two figures formed of Schweidnitz 
gingerbread. They represented two of Dr. Martin 
Luther's enemies, Tetzel and Eck, in their official 
robes, disfigured with the heads of animals. The 
names inscribed on them left no doubt whom they 
were intended to represent. Dorn examined the 
caricatures with an ominous shake of the head. ' Do 
not give these ill-shaped things to the children,' said 
he. ' Believe me, it is not well for them to be so 
early taught to make war upon opinions which they 
do not understand. Mockery and derision are bad 
aids to the holy cause, and the hand, which grasps 
filth to throw at an adversary, is itself the first soiled. 
The bitterness, with which the struggle for truth and 
spiritual freedom has been carried on, has already 
spread enough of suffering and miser}" over Europe. 
Let not the demon of sectarian zeal intrude itself into 
the nursery.' 

' You take every thing in the same earnest and 
serious way,' jestingly answered the friendly Katha- 
rine, laying the caricature figures aside. ' Who that 
heard 3"ou would suppose you had bravely drawn your 
sword for the new faith yourself ? The red scar upon 
your forehead contradicts your words.' 

' You are right,' cried Dorn with emotion. ' I have 
wielded the sword for the new faith. A bold captain 



THE LICHTENSTEINS. 7 

of daring robbers, I have achieved many a deed of 
arms under this pretext ; but daily do I pray to God 
to pardon me for it ! ' 

He hastened away. The reverend Johannes Beer, 
who had entered the room unnoticed at the commence- 
ment of this conversation, looked after him with 
astonishment, and then asked the hostess : ' that young 
man talks very strangely — may he not be a papist in 
disguise, sent into this house as a spy for our destruc- 
tion ? ' 

' By no means ! ' cried Katharine with zeal. ' You 
know, my worthy sir, that he was wounded fighting 
for the Augsburg confession, and during the two years 
he has dwelt under our roof, he has constantly evinced 
so true an attachment for us, and such a noble zeal 
against the tyranny of the pope, that I would answer 
for his honesty with my life.' 

' You judge of others according to the goodness of 
your own heart !' cried the parson. ' Believe me, in 
the iron times in which we live one cannot be too 
cautious. One Judas was found even among the 
apostles. Many a one who was a Paul for the pure 
evangelical doctrines has fallen from the faith, and 
now rages an angry Saul against his former brethren. 
The devil has once more become wholly devilish, and 
the anti-christ again goes about like a roaring lion 
seeking whom he may devour. The emperor, incited 
by the monks, has determined to effect a counter 
reformation in Silesia ; and already in Glogau, the 



8 TALES FROM THE GERMAN. 

Lichtensteins,* those terrible men of blood, who 
convert by fire and sword, are raging in a furious and 
shocking manner.' 

* Ah, reverend sir,' complained Katharine, ' we 
have invited you to share our joys and partake with 
us of the festival of our Lord ; but by repeating such 
dreadful news you will embitter all our enjoyments, 
and convert our christmas supper into a mourning 
feast.' 

' It is the duty of a faithful pastor,' said the clergy- 
man, * to frighten away the sleep of safety into which 
we are rocked by ease and selfishness. Our good 
Schweidnitz will also have to suffer in its turn. 
Have they not already taken from us the honorably 
purchased church of the cross, and the church of 
our dear lady of the woods ? Have they not already 
forbidden us the service of God in the church of the 
Holy Ghost ? They will surely take the earliest 
opportunity to do the same with St. Stanislaus and 
St. Wenceslaus. Various suspicious signs and tokens 
have lately been seen. As I was observing the stars 
last night, with my colleague Glogero, the constella- 
tions were very ominous ; and about midnight a fearful 
sign arose in the heavens from the north. A large 
red ball of fire described a flaming arch from the 
edge of the horizon to the zenith of the parish church, 
where it burst with a powerful explosion. It indi- 
cates the near proximity of great danger to our reli- 
gious liberties.' 

* The name of one of the imperial regiments, composed of 
catholics. 



THE LICHTENSTEINS. » 

During this speech so prophetic of evil, Katharine, 
with a happy feminine tact, contrived to forget the 
threatened troubles amid the little cares of the 
moment, and proceeded to ignite the innumerable 
lights of the christmas-trees, and those placed in the 
little manger for the purpose of illuminating its 
interior. The brightness of day was diffused through 
the large room, which awaked the child upon her 
bosom, and it smilingly stretched out its little hands 
toward the joyous light. 

* See how my little Johannes is delighted,' said the 
mother to the gloomy man. ' Careless of the threat- 
ening future, he enjoys the present. Does not our 
holy bible say, ' unless you become like little child- 
ren you shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven !' 
Therefore leave the portentous future to the wise 
guidance of God, and be happy with us to-night, for 
once, like this harmless child. Above all, be silent 
in my husband's presence, respecting your bad news. 
He has been very anxious and dejected for some days, 
and I shall be much grieved if anything occur to rend- 
er us unhappy this evening, to which christians of all 
denominations look with general joy as the anniver- 
sary of their common origin.' 

One of Fessel's apprentices now opened the door. 
* My master directs me to say to you,' cried he, ' that 
you may immediately commence the distribution of 
the presents, before it is too late. He has yet much 
to do in the counting-room. Two important letters 
have arrived. He will come to you at the earliest 
moment possible.' 



10 TALES FROH THE GERMAN. 

' That is not at all pleasant !' sighed Katharine, as 
the messenger disappeared. ' There can be no true 
family festival where the master of the house is mis- 
sing. Nevertheless, my husband is right ! If I delay 
much longer, the supper will be spoiled and every- 
thing will be in disorder.' She rang a bell which 
stood upon the table. A distant shout of children 
answered the noisy summons. She rang a second 
time, when the shouts came nearer, and a joyous tu- 
mult arose at the door of the room. She now put 
down the bell, and looked pleasedly toward the door, 
before which the whispering, laughing and tramping 
band awaited the third call. 

* They must wait a little,' said Katharine, smiling, 
to the clergyman. * It seasons the pleasure, and is a 
wholesome lesson for youth, when early taught.' 
The holy man nodded assent to the pedagogical arti- 
fice ; but meanwhile the mother's heart began to 
yield, and impelled Katharine's hand toward the bell. 
The third call now sounded, when the door burst open 
as if at the explosion of a petard, and the four chil- 
dren of Fessel, two vigorous boys and two lovely girls, 
stormed into the room, surrounding and dragging their 
favorite, the book-keeper, along with them. After 
them followed the clerks, apprentices, servants and 
maidens, who modestly arranged themselves in a row 
near the door until their places were pointed out to 
them. 

The children precipitated themselves toward the 
richly laden table like a rushing stream, recognizing 



THE LICHTENSTEINS. 11 

the portion destined for each with a searching and 
rapid glance. ' I will draw this against Wallenstein ! ' 
screamed the wild Martin, brandishing a little sword 
that he found among his presents. ' A bible and a 
bunch of quills,' cried the intellectual Ulrich, holding 
them up : ' now I will write against the papists like 
the noble Hutten, whose name I bear. ' Alas, the poor 
maidens who can never be married ! ' cried both of 
the girls, bringing two waxen nuns to their mother. 

' Beloved children I ' said the clergyman, pressing 
them all to his heart. They tore themselves from 
his arms and broke out in a simultaneous shout of 
astonishment and joy upon observing the miniature 
manger. Then as if beside themselves they ran, 
tumbling over each other, to their mother, the clergy- 
man and Dorn, thankfully showing and praising their 
several presents. 

' Will you not look at your christmas present, 
master Dorn ? ' asked Katharine of the book-keeper, 
who kept himself apart in serious silence. 

He turned toward the designated place with a 
melancholy smile, and as he cast his eyes upon the rich 
present, a complete and splendid dress-suit with a full 
complement of the finest linen, he turned again with 
deep emotion to Katharine, who was pointing out 
their places to the rest of the household. 

* This is too much, madam Katharine,' he cried. 
' How may you thus favor the stranger beyond the 
children of your house ? ' 

* The stranger ? ' asked Katharine resentfully. * In 



12 TALES FROM THE GERMAN. 

our hearts it has been a long time since you were so, 
and we should much regret to have you consider 
yourself one. Believe me, we are sensible what a 
faithful companion and assistant my husband has 
acquired in you, and that every thing we can do for 
you is but honestly discharging our obligations.' 

'Ah, see, master Dorn, you also have got a sword!' 
cried Martin, holding up this essential part of the dress 
of a burgher in those times, which lay by Dorn's 
present. 

Dorn suddenly approached the boy and taking the 
magnificent sword from his hands gazed upon it with 
secret pleasure. At length he could no longer resist 
the desire to draw and try the temper of the blade. 

* You are not angry,' asked Katharine, * that a lady 
should presume to arm you ? Really your old sword 
with its hacked hilt and notched and rusty blade, 
would not have become your new suit.' 

' You have done well, worthy lady,' said Dorn, 
proving the blade by pressing its point against the 
floor and bending it in every direction, * The old 
sword had indeed become dear to me, like an old friend 
who had always remained true in times of necessity 
and danger ; but I never reflect upon the deeds I have 
performed with it without shuddering. It seems to 
me that it is possessed by an evil spirit which impels 
my hand to deeds of blood against my will, and 
I therefore do not like to touch it. This has as yet 
drank no blood, and, so help me God, I will preserve 
it unstained unless I am compelled to draw it in defence 



THE LICHTENSTEINS. 13 

of the hearth where I, a friendless stranger, have been 
so hospitably received.' 

' Or in defence of religion,' added the parson. 

' The true religion, most worthy sir,' answered 
Dorn, * needs not the aid of the sword ! ' 

The reverend man had already opened his mouth 
to refute this bold proposition, when the master of the 
house entered with a clouded countenance, holding 
two open letters in his hand. He briefly greeted the 
parson, gently put aside the children who gathered 
about him in their noisy joy, and handed one of the 
letters to his wife. 

' From your mother, at Sagan,' said he ; and while 
she proceeded to read it with visible terror, he drew 
the book-keeper to a window. 

' I have a sudden and disagreeable business for you,' 
said he to Dorn. * The t-errible Wallenstein con- 
ducts himself in his new dukedom with a tyranny 
almost unheard of among christians. He has deter- 
mined to send all the orphan sons of burghers of 
Sagan to the school he has recently established at 
Gitschin. Those whom he has found in the place, 
have been forcibly sent to Bohemia. Their property 
and relatives are held answerable for the absent. As 
you already know, my mother-in-law's nephew, young 
Engelmann, is at present studying at the gymnasium 
in this city ; and the tyrant has thrown his uncle and 
guardian into prison until the pupil shall be forthcom- 
ing. No other course remains, but to send the poor boy 
home as soon as possible ; and, that he may, in these 
2 



14 TALES FROM THE GERMAN, 

dangerous times, reach Sagan with safety, it is my 
wish that you would accompany him. When there, 
you may also be able to assist me in another affair. I 
have loaned a thousand gilders upon the two houses 
of the joiner Eckebrect. My debtor now informs me 
that the houses are among those the duke has caused 
to be demolished for the purpose of opening a better 
view for his palace. Nothing has yet been said 
respecting indemnification. I therefore wish you, 
while on the spot, to obtain all the information you can 
upon the subject.' 

' I am very willingly at your service,' modestly 
answered Dorn. * When shall I set out ? ' 

' Did I not fear the sin of keeping you from church 
on Christmas night,' said Fessel, ' I would beg of you 
to start this very evening. Sagan is distant, and old 
Engelmann is a very worthy man, whose release 
from prison I should be glad to effect as soon as 
possible.' 

' The performance of duty is God's service ! ' cried 
Dorn. ' I will go immediately and prepare for the 
journey.' He left the room, followed by the boys, who 
lamented the loss of their best christmas enjoyment in 
his departure. 

' Your book-keeper is indeed no papist,' said the par- 
son to Katharine after a long pause ; ' but there may also 
be some doubt of his Lutheranism ; for he appears to 
sustain the doctrine of good works. He may be tinc- 
tured with Calvinism. 

' If he were, he would still be our protestant co- 



THE LIGHTEN STEINS. 15 

laborer and brother in Christ,' answered Fessel in the 
name of his consort, who was busily reading. 

' Calvin, Zuinglius, and the pope — all are heretics 
alike ! ' grumbled the parson. 

The weeping Katharine now folded the letter, hand- 
ed it to her husband, and in a soft, submissive voice 
asked him : ' What have you decided upon, Tobias ? ' 

' I wished to advise with you upon the matter first, 
my Kitty,' he answered, in a friendly manner. ' They 
are your nearest relatives who now seek a refuge with 
us, and I would not willingly leave them in the claws 
of those fiends ; but at all events their coming would 
increase your domestic cares, and I know not whether 
you would like to have your mother and sister reside 
in the family.' 

' As I know my beloved ones,' she joyfully answer- 
ed, ' I have only relief, consolation and joy, to expect 
from them ; and, if my opinion is to decide the matter, 
I beg you with all my heart to have them brought 
here.' 

Dorn now entered the room in his traveling dress, 
with his rusty sword by his side. He was followed 
by Martin and Ulrich, and the young Engelmann with 
his traveling bag in his hand, much grieved at being 
compelled to leave his dear Schweidnitz for a strange 
school w^here he was unknowing and unknown. 

' The carriage is ready,' said the book-keeper. * I 
come to take my leave, and ask if you have any fur- 
ther commands for me.' 

' I have yet one more request, my dear friend,' 



16 TALES FROM THE GERMAN. 

answered the merchant. * A captain of Wallenstein's 
body guards is quartered in the house of my mother- 
in-law at Sagan, who plays the duke of Friedland on 
a small scale in the quiet residence of the widow ; 
and, what is still more unfortunate, woos the favor of 
my sister-in-law after the fashion of a wild Tartar. 
She very naturally rejects the monster, who has 
already served under four different masters, has four 
times changed his religion, and is now, by accident, a 
catholic ; but the refusal has brought her no relief, 
and he only, who knows how much a bad man may 
afflict a family upon whom he is quartered, can imagine 
w^hat the poor women must suffer. On this account 
they w4sh to leave all behind them and flee to me at 
Schweidnitz ; and after having delivered up your 
scholar, you can bring them with you on your return. 
This writing may serve as your credential.' 

' I beg of you to be especially careful that you 
suffer no injury on the way from the marauding 
soldiers, who render the public roads unsafe,' said 
Katharine w4th anxious solicitude. 

' I take with me my faithful old battle-companion,' 
said Dorn, striking the hilt of his sword with a glance 
in which all his former military spirit shone forth. 
' Do not be concerned for me, madam Katharine. 
We have a hard frost — I shall let the horses travel at 
a round pace — and with God's blessing, I will be 
here to partake of the christmas supper, which I 
should have eaten now, with you and your dear rela- 
tives on new year's eve.' 



THE LICHTENSTEINS. 17 

He raised the sorrowing children, whom even the 
ingeniously constructed manger could not console for 
his departure, one after the other to his lips, bowed to 
the others, disappeared with his protege, and the 
wheels of his carriage were soon heard rattling over 
the hard- frozen ground. 



CHAPTER II. 



It was the evening of the third christmas holi- 
day. The snow-flakes were merrily whirling about 
out of doors ; and in a well warmed room at Sagan 
sat the merchant's widow, Prudentia Eosen, with 
her daughter, the lovely Faith. Both of them were 
industriously winding the fine spun thread upon the 
twirling spindles. The impudent captain of the 
guards had planted himself in the matron's arm- 
chair, at the table, and was afflicting the poor women 
by a recital of his terrible warlike deeds, while he 
emptied the silver goblet standing before him, and 
directed love-glances, which made him look even 
more disagreeable, at poor Faith, who, sighingly and 
reluctantly replenished it from time to time. 

The servant announced a stranger who wished to 
speak with madam Rosen alone. 

The widow rose to go out in obedience to the 
summons ; but the captain sneeringly observed that 
as she could have no motive for a secret interview 
with the stranger, she could give the required 
audience in his presence. 



THE LICHTENSTEINS. 19 

The widow nodded to the servant, with a slight 
shrug of the shoulders at this new exhibition of 
insolence. The latter immediately ushered in a 
young man, who greeted the ladies with modest 
friendliness, and the captain with cold courtesy. 

* I am the book-keeper of your son-in-law,' said 
he. ' I have the honor to hand you this letter as my 
credential, and to inform you, that, if agreeable, your- 
self and daughter can accompany me to Schweidnitz 
to-morrow morning.' 

' How ? You wish to leave Sagan now, madam 
Rosen ? ' asked the captain, angrily stroking his red 
beard. 

' Family affairs render this journey unavoidable,' 
answered the widow, with quiet firmness. 

'You must arrange the matter otherwise,' blustered 
the ruffian. ' Your most imperative duty is to remain 
here and provide for the comfort of those who are 
quartered in your house.' 

' Do not be anxious on that score, captain,' answered 
the widow. ' Every thing will be furnished that you 
need in my absence.' 

' Then go, in the devil's name, where you please,' 
cried the captain ; * but, that my comfort may not be 
disturbed, your daughter remains behind to discharge 
the duties of hostess.' 

' Give yourself no uneasiness, madam Rosen,' said 
Dorn, consolingly, to the terrified woman. ' If you are 
not by the duke of Friedland's command a prisoner 



20 TALES FROM THE GERMAN. 

in your own house, the captain will let you go without 
requiring a hostage.' 

' How is that ? ' cried the irritated captain, viewing 
the young man from head to foot. The latter quietly 
returned his measuring glance, whilst the beauteous 
Faith timidly raised her eyes from her spindle, 
inwardly delighted with the fearlessness of the 
interesting stranger. 

' You are a fine fellow,' said the captain with a 
malicious smile ; ' well-grown and strong ; and your 
bold behavior is very becoming. You w^ould make a 
good trooper. Come, do me justice to the health 
of our most gracious emperor.' 

' We must become better acquainted with each 
other, captain, before we drink together,' answered 
Dorn, politely declining the goblet. 

' Do you slight my proffered courtesy,' growled 
the captain ; * or do you belong to the rebels, that 
you refuse to drink the emperor's health ? ' 

' Drink ! ' imploringly begged the timid Faith, and, 
vanquished by the glance which accompanied the 
request, the youth seized the goblet and cried, ' May 
God enlighten the emperor and teach him the true 
way to promote the welfare of his subjects !' 

' Bravo, comrade ! ' cried the captain, as the goblet 
was drained. * You will never regret having entered 
the emperor's service. I pledge you my word that 
you will be a corporal in a month.' 

' What mean you by that ? ' asked Dorn with sur- 



THE LICHTENSTEINS. 21 

prise. ' The idea of entering the emperor's service 
never once came into my head.' 

' You jest !' cried the miscreant. You have drank 
to the emperor with a captain in the imperial service, 
and by that act have become a soldier.' 

' Is it possible ! ' cried Dorn. * Can you so prosti- 
tute the emperor's name as to use it for so low an 
artifice ? ' 

' Not a word of opposition, fellow ! ' said the captain 
menacingly. ' You have consented to take service 
under the standard of. his imperial majesty, and must 
abide thereby.' 

' I am a free burgher of Schweidnitz,' said Dorn ; 
' what right have you to hold me ? ' 

' What right ! what right !' blustered the captain, 
striking the floor with his sword. ' Here is my right, 
which is valid through all Europe.' 

' I warn you, captain,' cried Dorn, * to be cautious 
how you take a step which may disgrace you with- 
out accomplishing your purpose.' 

' That we shall see ! ' said the captain ; and, going 
to the door, he threw it open and cried, ' Orderly ! ' 

A gigantic guardsman came clattering up the steps, 
stooped to enter the room, and then, straitening him- 
self up like a tall pine, thundered, ' Here !' 

' Take this recruit to the guard-room,' commanded 
the captain, ' and deliver him over, on my account, 
to the officer of the day. He may as well be put in 
uniform and sworn to his colors this evening as to- 
morrow.' 



22 TALESFR0 3r THE GEE MAN. 

The colossus stepped up to Dorn, pointed to the door, 
and in a very insolent tone commanded, * March!' 

Dorn hurled him back with great force, and drew 
from his pocket a sealed document which he held up 
to the view of the captain. ' My commission as 
captain in the royal Danish service,' said he, ' pro- 
tects me ag-ainst the honor of serving under you. 
The duke of Friedland shall satisfy himself of its 
authenticity to-morrow. To me you must make 
reparation, upon the spot, for this personal outrage. 
Have the goodness to follow me to the door.' 

The captain, who, like many a bragadocio, hid the 
ears of the ass under the skin of the lion, stood 
utterly confused before the angry youth, in whom he 
had very unexpectedly found his match. At length 
he motioned his orderly to retire. * It is not possible 
for me to accept your invitation to-night ; but early 
in the morning we will speak further upon this 
matter,' said he with constrained courtesy to Dorn, 
and immediately left the room. 

* We shall not be able to start before noon, in this 
way,' said Dorn, with some little vexation. * Mean- 
while, have the goodness, madam Kosen, to pack the 
best and most necessary articles which you may wish 
to take with you, to-night.' 

* Ah, that would prove a fruitless trouble, my dear 
sir ! ' exclaimed the widow. * The captain is now 
highly incensed, and I believe he would strike the 
horses dead before the carriage, sooner than let 
us go.' 



THE LICHTENSTEINS. 23 

' I trust some one higher than he can be found 
here/ said Dorn. * When matters come to the worst, 
I can speak to the duke himself.' 

' God preserve you from that ! ' cried the widow. 
' He is indeed a passionate, tyrannical man, who will 
not tolerate even the sparrows upon his roof. He 
directly hangs every one who makes the least oppo- 
sition to him. He strung up a poor apothecary's 
apprentice for making too much noise in his neigh- 
borhood Avith his pestle and mortar, and a poor child 
because it cried in its mother's arms.' 

* I nevertheless doubt not he w411 suffer me to live,' 
said Dorn, with a smile. ' I have seen the white of 
his eye at Dessau, and was not frightened. Therefore 
dismiss your fears and pack up as quick as you can. 
I shall start at one in the afternoon to-morrow. I 
have promised your daughter to be in Schweidnitz on 
new-year's eve, and will keep my word.' 

He was about to take his leave ; but the widow 
held him fast by both his hands. 

' No,' cried she, anxiously, ' I will not let you go. 
I thank God for sending a manly protector to my 
house in these evil times, and should die with fear if 
compelled to sleep alone under the same roof with 
that monster, now that he is irritated. No, you 
remain with us. My daughter shall prepare the little 
guest-chamber for you, and I will mix your evening 
draught.' 

' I would not be troublesome to you,' said Dorn, 



24 TALES FROM THE GERMAN. 

' at a time when your house is already occupied by 
other guests.' 

' It is, indeed, and by those who are uninvited and 
unwelcome,' sighed the widow. ' But for that very 
reason I would add a welcome guest to the number, 
that I may know whether I am yet mistress of my 
own house.' 

In obedience to a nod from her mother, Faith, with 
blushing cheeks and downcast eyes, took a light to 
show the guest to his chamber. He followed her 
through the Gothic building, up one flight of steps 
and down another, through crooked passages, until 
they reached a small, but neatly furnished chamber, 
in which was a snow white bed. While Faith 
removed the flowered damask covering, filled the 
shining pewter ewer with fresh water, and hung a 
towel near it, he was occupied in observing the 
beautiful form of the lovely blonde, whose graceful 
motions, employed for the promotion of his comfort, 
were for that reason rendered doubly charming. 

* Perhaps I render you an unwelcome service in 
taking you from this place, fair maiden?' said he, 
by way of beginning conversation. 

' How can you think so, sir ? ' quickly replied Faith. 
' I thank my God and yourself for my release.' 

* Well, one cannot always know,' said Dorn, jest- 
ingly. ' The heart may often have attachments in 
a place otherwise particularly disagreeable.' 

' If I thought you alluded to the captain,' said 



THE LIGHTEN STEINS. 25 

Faith, with some asperity, ' I could become angry 
with you, in the first hour of our acquaintance.' 

' He is not, indeed, a very fascinating suitor,' con- 
tinued Dorn ; ' but there nevertheless may be in the 
city of Sagan, some slender rosy youth, who has 
eyes for so beauteous a maiden.' 

' I know none here for whom I could have eyes,' 
answered the maiden, quickly, and immediately 
became somewhat alarmed at the traitorous emphasis 
she had laid upon the word here, 

' Not here, but elsewhere ? ' asked Dorn, seizing 
her delicate white hand. 

' These bold questions come from the evil customs 
of your hateful military profession,' said Faith, 
endeavoring to withdraw her hand. He suffered her 
to regain it only by slow degrees, letting but one 
rosy finger out of his hand at a time, while his pulse 
was becoming greatly accelerated by the soft, caress- 
ing touch. His eyes sought and met hers, which 
looked kindly upon him, not with the sun's consuming 
fire, but with the mild chaste light of the friendly 
moon. 

* So you have not yet loved, charming Faith ? ' he 
earnestly asked, holding fast the last little finger of 
the imprisoned hand. 

' What a question,' whispered she, turning away 
from him. ' I am scarcel}^ sixteen years old.' 

' Then the first silver-tone is yet to be drawn from 
this untried 'harp of a thousand strings;' 0, how 
3 



26 TALES FROM THE GERMAN. 

happy/ cried the youth, ' will be that artist who shall 
one day succeed in awakening its thrilling music !' 

Faith suddenly exclaimed, ' Good night, captain I ' 
The farewell bow released the yet imprisoned finger, 
and the delightful vision disappeared. 



CHAPTER III. 



When Dorn opened his eyes the next mommg, a 
corporal and six halbardiers were standing before his 
bed. 

' Dress yourself quickly,' commanded the corporal. 
* I am ordered to bring you before the duke.' 

Having soon become satisfied that no opposition 
was, in this case, to be thought of, Dorn obeyed. As 
he and his guards were passing through the streets, 
he saw many things which went to prove the arbitrary 
power of the man before whom his own emperor and 
all Europe were then trembling. Notwithstanding 
the misery and suffering produced by the war, he saw 
whole rows of houses which had been repaired, newly 
painted, and splendidly furnished, that the city in 
which the Friedlander dwelt and governed might 
present an agreeable appearance to the eye. The 
beautiful flocks and herds of the city, driven by 
weeping burghers, were making their way toward 
the gates, having been expelled because their contin- 
uance in the city was inconsistent with the dignity of 
a capital. The work of demolition was yet going on 



28 TALES FROM THE GERMAN. 

in the vicinity of the palace, and more than iifty 
houses were lying in ruins. To all of Dorn's ques- 
tions, however, the corporal had but one answer : — 
' the duke wills it.' They had now reached the castle. 
The corporal conducted Dorn through the crowd of 
halbardiers, footmen and pages, to the ante-chamber 
of the audience-room, where fifty of the body guards 
were on duty. Two Silesian noblemen, ambassadors 
to the duke from Leignitz and Oels-Bernstadt, were 
here waiting in patient humility to learn if the dictator 
would please to grant them an audience. 

At length one of the duke's counsellors canie out 
of the audience-room, and with insolent hauteur 
beckoned the Leignitz ambassador, who reverentially 
approached the proud knight. 

' What you have delivered to my lord in behalf of 
your province,' said the counsellor, with contemptuous 
disrespect, 'he will take into consideration and com- 
municate his pleasure to your duke at the next assem- 
bly of the princes. Your complaints against the 
troops are not deserving of consideration. The soldier 
must have something for his trouble and toil. In that 
respect, my lord has far heavier and more just com- 
plaints against your duke. The latter has put a man 
to death who wished to take service in our army.' 

' The culprit was a subject of our duke, and a wilful 
murderer,' answered the ambassador. 'He was exe- 
cuted in accordance with the right and in pursuance 
of the judgment of the court of Aldermen of Leignitz.' 

' No court of justice,' continued the counsellor, ' may 



THE LIGHTEN STEINS. 29 

presume to punish any one who claims the Friedlan- 
der's protection. My lord directs you to say to your 
duke, that he must send him two hundred infantry 
from his own troops as an indemnification, or the heads 
of a dozen of the Leignitz nobility shall be answerable 
for the neglect.' 

The Leignitz ambassador retired with a deadly 
paleness, and the messenger from Oels-Bernstadt was 
beckoned to approach. 

' Duke Wenzel,' said the counsellor, in a cutting 
tone, ' has ventured to hang some soldiers of count 
Terzky's regiment.' 

* As robbers taken in the act,' interposed the mes- 
senger ; ' in obedience to the orders of the generalis- 
simo himself, to keep the high roads safe, and punish 
all convicted criminals.' 

' Terzky has written to him,' continued the coun- 
sellor, without noticing the interruption, ' that he has 
ordered the same number of the prince's counsellors 
to be hanged, and that he has already set a price upon 
their heads. Thereupon lord Wenzel immediately 
complained to the emperor, and the complaint, as was 
proper, has been transmitted to my master, who has 
decided upon the affair. He directs it to be announ- 
ced to your master that he approves and will sustain 
the acts of count Terzky, and to give an example to 
the Silesian princes generally, the principalities and 
baronies of your master will be confiscated and divi- 
ded among those soldiers who have merited them by 
their services. With this message you are at liberty 
3=^ 



30 TALES FROiM THE GERMAN. 

to depart.' He turned his back upon him and with a 
haughty step returned to the audience-room. The 
messengers departed in speechless sorrow, and at that 
moment a corporal conducted two well dressed ladies 
into the ante-chamber. They were closely veiled and 
weeping bitterly. Another corporal led a bound 
Wallensteiner, with wild, staring e3^es, blue lips and 
bristling hair, through the ante-chamber into the au- 
dience-room. The ladies now looked up, and, per- 
ceiving Dorn, quickly removed their veils. He 
instantly recognized his hospitable hostess and her 
lovely daughter. 

' My dear Faith ! ' cried he w^ith tender compassion ; 
but the corporal rapped him upon the shoulder, and 
whispered to him, ' silence, if you have any regard 
for your neck. Without the duke's permission no 
word must be uttered here.' 

A deep and awful silence now prevailed in the 
ante-chamber, broken only by some plaintive tone 
which occasionally reached them through the double 
doors which separated the two rooms. An angry 
voice suddenly cried within, ' let the brute be hang- 
ed ! ' — ' That was the duke,' whispered one of the 
soldiers to another. The doors opened, and the delin- 
quent w^as again led through the ante-chamber by his 
companion. ' God be merciful to me I ' stammered 
he, as he staggered onward and disappeared. 

Again a deep silence, again the doors of the audi- 
ence-room opened, and the counsellor cried out, ' the 
Dane, with the two gentlewomen !' 



THE LICHTENSTEINS. 31 

' Forward ! ' commanded each of the corporals, and 
with a firm step Dorn walked into the hall, supporting 
the almost fainting females. 

A tall haggard man, with a dreadful sternness in 
his yellow face and small twinkling eyes, frightfully 
expressive of anxiety, a magnificent plumed hat upon 
his short red head, a black velvet Spanish jacket 
decked with the stars and chains of various orders, an 
ermine-trimmed, dark violet-colored velvet mantle 
upon his shoulders, was standing by his gilded arm- 
chair before a table, at which three counsellors and a 
Jesuit were seated. Six barons and the same number 
of knights, stood in files by the wall in respectful 
silence, that the behests of the all-powerful noble 
might be followed by instant execution, as the deed 
follows the will, or thunder the lightning. Behind 
the arm-chair stood the well known captain of the 
life guards, who met the entering group with a smile 
of Satanic triumph. 

With the majesty of a prince of the lower world, 
the duke advanced to Dorn, looked at him with his 
little piercing eyes as though he would interrogate 
his soul, and in a gruff repulsive tone asked him, 
' Danish captain ? ' 

' By virtue of this commission,' quietly answered 
Dorn, handing the document to him. 

The duke glanced through it, gave it back to him, 
and said, ' a prisoner of war, then !' 

' When count Mannsfeld was driven through Silesia 
by you,' answered Dorn, ' I was left in Oels severely 



32 TALES FROM THE GERMAN. 

wounded. I there found a charitable merchant who 
had my wounds healed and afterwards took me with 
him to Schweidnitz. Tired of the trade of war, I 
have remained there for the last two years, and served 
my benefactor in the capacity of book-keeper. Under 
these circumstances, I leave it for your sense of jus- 
tice to decide whether I can be considered a prisoner 
of war.' 

' Or spy ? ' asked the duke. 

' My free passport remains with the commandant of 
the city,' answered Dorn. 

' What was your object in coming to head quar- 
ters ? ' asked the duke. 

' To bring a scholar from Schweidnitz,' answered 
Dorn, for your school at Gitschin, and to take back to 
Schweidnitz my employer's mother-in-law and her 
daughter.' 

' Prove it ! ' cried the examiner. 

' Send to the merchant Engelmann,' said Dorn ; 
' who must have left his prison last evening ; and 
Madam Rosen must yet have the letter which she 
wrote to Schweidnitz and which I brought back to 
her as my credential.' 

' Here is the unlucky letter,' sobbed the trembling 
widow, handing it to the duke on bended knee. 

He took it, read, and turned towards the captain. 
' We have your portrait here,' said he ; * not flattered, 
but well drawn. Did you know the object of his 
coming here ? ' 

The captain replied only by stammering some unin- 
telligible words. 



THE LICHTENSTEINS. 33 

' He wished to prevent their departure,' said Dorn. 

' To know and keep siience, is called lying I ' ob- 
served the duke, with anger. Then to Dorn, ' you 
have, however, abused the emperor ! ' 

* That is not true ! ' cried the latter with vehemence. 

' He drank the emperor's health with the captain I ' 
cried the trembling Faith, encouraged by her anxiety 
for the youth. ' I and my mother are witnesses, and 
because he drank the emperor's health, the captain 
pretended that he had enlisted for a soldier.' 

' Shame upon you I ' thundered the duke. * Has a 
lord who has all Europe for a recruiting ground, need 
of such miserable devices ? ' 

' Here is a heretic conspiracy,' cried the captain, 
' planned for my destruction. This woman is secretly 
a^ Lutheran, together with her daughter. Already 
have I twice watched their stolen attendance upon 
the preacher of Eckensdorf. For that reason they 
have called the Mannsfelder here, that he may take 
them to heretical Schweidnitz, where they can prac- 
tise their idolatry undisturbedly ; and because, out of 
zeal for the true faith, I wished to prevent their 
heathenish abominations, I am calumniated by the 
apostate women and their accomplice.' 

' Heap not new insults upon us,' cried Dorn, for- 
getting in whose presence he stood. ' You know that 
you yet owe me satisfaction for those of last evening. 
You promised indeed to meet me this morning ; but 
you preferred to rob me of my liberty and the ability 
to punish you for the outrage you committed, by false 
charges.' 



34 TALES FROM THE GERMAN. 

' Mannsfelder ! Mannsfelder I ' exclaimed the duke, 
secretly delighted with the* boldness of the warrior ; 
' We also are yet here ! ' and turning to the captain, 
he asked ; ' What have you to say to this accusation ? ' 

* Challenged and not appear!' cried he, as the 
captain stood mute, with frightfully flashing eyes. 
' A Friedlandish captain I Announce yourself to the 
officer of the day as under arrest, and immediately 
afterwards seek for your discharge. You can no longer 
serve under Wallenstein ! ' 

' Yet the captain's information with regard to the 
secret church-going of these women may well deserve 
some consideration,' remarked the Jesuit, rising. 

* A soldier should be no priestly spy,' angrily an- 
swered the duke. ' I am the emperor's generalissimo ; 
but not his inquisitor. What care I about the cate- 
chisms of his subjects. They may believe what they 
like, provided they but give what they should. I 
adhere to my decision.' 

With a devout sigh the Jesuit again seated himself ; 
and, in despair at the rebound of his last arrow, the 
captain left the hall. 

With a kindness which strangely suited his stony 
face, the duke now stepped directly to Dorn and 
slapped him upon the shoulder. ' You are laconic 
and resolute,' said he, * I like that ; and moreover I 
must have seen this face somewhere.' 

' Perhaps on the Elbe near Dessau,' answered Dorn. 

' Right ! ' cried the duke. ' You are the oflicer who 
held the last entrenchment with such obstinacv. I 



THE LICHTENSTEINS. 35 

liked you, even then. Will you become a major in 
my regiment of life-guards ? I shall conclude a peace 
with Denmark at the earliest opportunity, and so your 
Danish commission need be no hindrance.' 

' To the true hero the truth may be fearlessly 
spoken,' said Dorn. ' I cannot fight against my con- 
science.' 

' I regret that any obstacle deprives me of your 
services,' said the duke. * I would very willingly do 
something to oblige you. Ask some favor of me ! ' 

* I have only to ask you,' said Dorn, ' to permit me 
to depart immediately for Schweidnitz with these 
ladies, and also your permission to take back with me 
the poor boy whom I tore from his friends in obedience 
to your commands.' 

* Well, take the whole baggage, comrade,' said the 
diike benificently : ' and a prosperous journey to you ! 
I will cause the necessary papers to be given you.' 

The duke kindly nodded permission to retire, and 
Dorn led the ladies from the hall. 

* A happy escape from the lion's den ! ' sighed the 
matron with a lighter heart, as she turned her back 
upon the palace. 

What may not one accomplish who is a man in the 
fullest sense of the word ! ' cried the enthusiastic Faith, 
pressing Dorn's hand to her heart. 

* I know not,' said Dorn pensively, ^ whether I shall 
have especial reason to rejoice at the turn the affair 
has taken or not. It just now occurs to me that the 
dismission of your persecutor from his quarters in 



36 TALES FROM THE GERMAN. 

your house, removes the evil which impelled you to 
leave Sagan, and that you may not now wish to accom- 
pany me to Schweidnitz.' 

' O ! we have on many accounts long desired to visit 
our Katharine,' said Faith with great earnestness. 
* Our house can never remain long free from this 
detestable quartering, and who knows how the next 
may conduct himself! Besides, I fear the captain 
now as much as I did before. He has lost the power 
of tormenting us, and his bread into the bargain. He 
will soon be released from the guard-house, and a bad 
man, however insignificant may be his situation, has 
the power to injure with the will I ' 

* My daughter's zeal,' smilingly interposed the 
matron. ' saves me the trouble of explaining my reasons 
for wishing to go with you. Let it suffice, that we 
ride with you to Schweidnitz.' 



CHAPTER IV. 



At Schweidnitz, on new year's eve, the Fessel 
family were gathered around the well lighted and 
richly covered table ; but no one had an inclination 
to eat ; for Dorn, the idol of the house, was still absent, 
and anxiety for her beloved relatives saddened the 
countenance of the affectionate Katharine. 

' I thought master Dorn would have kept his word 
better,' cried the impatient Martin, striking the empty 
seat which had been placed near him for the expected 
traveler. ^ The supper will soon be over and still he 
is not here.' 

^ He will yet be sure to come,' said the confiding 
Ulrich. * God grant it,' sighed Katharine. ' A car- 
riage ! a carriage ! ' cried the listening daughters, 
running to the window. ' It is father's horses ! ' they 
shouted. Out ran the two boys, overthrowing their 
seats with a tremendous racket ; and, as if there had 
been a wager among the four children, which should 
first break their necks, they all rushed out of the door 
and down the steep stairs. 
4 



3S TALES FR03I THE GERMAN. 

* Welcome to Schweidnitz, my dear mother I ' joy- 
fully cried the master of the house from the wmdow, 
to which he also had hastened. 

* Has my sister come with you ? ' asked the anxious 
Katharine, running to the door. The children had 
already let down the steps of the carriage, and madam 
Rosen with her daughter hastened to meet their 
expectant friends. The cloaks and wrappers soon fell 
off, and mother and daughters were clasped in a mutual 
embrace. 

' Happily redeemed from the prison of the hateful 
Holofernes ? ' asked Fessel, affectionately greeting his 
mother-in-law. 

' After great trouble and anxiety,' answered the 
widow, drawing a long breath, whilst the attentive 
Katharine was busily relieving her of her superfluous 
traveling garments. 

' Had you not sent us so bold a knight,' said Faith 
playfully ; * to rescue us from the terrible giant, we 
should have been at this moment sitting in Sagan, 
listening to the insupportable boastings of the mon- 
ster.' 

' Where is the valiant knight, that I may thank him 
for his good service ? ' asked Katharine. 

At that moment Dorn entered the room, leading the 
young Engelmann by the hand, and surrounded by 
the four children of the house. 

' How ! Do you bring the boy, also ? ' asked the 
astonished master, warmly embracing his book-keeper. 



THE LICHTENSTEINS, 39 

* He has permission to remain and pursue his studies 
here,' answered Dorn. * Here is the Duke's consent 
in his own hand- writing.' 

' You must understand the black art,' cried the 
overjoyed Fessel. ' I should sooner have expected to 
remove the everlasting hills from their foundations 
than to move the Friedlander from his purpose.' 

* I could not, however, save your property,' said 
Dorn. ' The houses already lay in ruins, and all 
applications for indemnification are rejected by the 
ducal court.' 

' I am sorry to lose the capital,' said Fessel ; for I 
had already built a fine speculation upon it ; but 
you have saved my dear friends, and so in God's 
name let the guilders go. Now seat yourselves and 
relate to me circumstantially how this eighth wonder 
of the world has been accomplished.' 

They placed themselves at table. Dorn obtained a 
seat near the charming Faith ; and, as among a swarm 
of bees, narrations and corrections, questions and 
answers, praise and astonishment, fear, anger and 
laughter, so buzzed about the table that the business of 
eating was scarcely thought of. 

* Thank God we are finally here ! ' remarked madam 
Rosen, reaching her goblet of Hungary wine to the 
book-keeper, for the purpose of touching his glass. 
' My best thanks,' said she with emotion, and at the 
same time gave an intimation to Faith to follow her 
example. 

* Thank me not so much, dear madam,' said the 



40 TALES FROM THE GERMAN. 

youth with a pensive air, while touching glasses with 
the blushing maiden ; * else I shall have my whole 
reward in thanks.' 

' And in consequence lose the courage to ask for a 
dearer one,' jested Katharine, who had noticed the 
glance he gave her sister. 

' We are so merry to-night !' cried Fessel's young- 
est daughter, the little Hedwig, ' cannot you let us 
have the play of the light boats now, dear mother ? 
You promised it to us on christmas eve ; which, by 
the by, was passed sadly enough.' 

' Yes, yes, the light boats ! ' shouted the other 
children, clapping their hands. 

* Well, bring the large soup-dish,' said the mother, 
who could refuse nothing to her youngest daughter ; 
* but be careful not to spill the water.' 

* Glorious, excellent ! ' cried the children in chorus. 
Hedwig flew out of the room ; the other children 
produced wax candles of various colors, and began 
cutting them into innumerable small pieces ; while 
Faith, Dorn, and young Engelmann, were instructed 
to divide the walnuts, of which the table furnished 
an abundant supply, in halves, and neatly to extricate 
the kernels without injuring the shells. 

' I know not if you are acquainted with this play 
of the Silesian children,' said Fessel, laughing, to 
Dorn. ' It was omitted by us last year, in conse- 
quence of my wife's illness. It is a solemn oracle 
upon matters of love, marriage, and death. The 
children, however, do not trouble themselves about 



THE LICHTENSTEINS. 41 

the serious signification ; but only take pleasure in 
the movements of the boats and in splashing the 
water.' 

The door now opened, and little Hedwig stepped 
into the room, with the large dish full of water in 
her hands, with a solemn and consequential air, and 
deposited her burden upon the centre of the table. 

' Now put the lights in the boats,' commanded 
Martin ; * we have prepared enough of them.' A 
small wax taper was placed in each shell, projecting 
like the mast of a boat. 

' Who shall swim first ? ' asked Elizabeth, lighting 
the tapers in two of the boats. 

* Mother and father ! ' cried the others, and the 
shells were placed in the platter near each other, 
when they moved forth upon the clear liquid surface 
with a regular motion, and burning with a steady 
light, until they reached the opposite side where 
they quietly remained. 

^ We are already anchored in a safe haven,' said 
Fessel to his beloved wife ; ' and in the quiet enjoy- 
ment of domestic happiness, we can have no wish to 
be restlessly driving about upon the open seas.' 

' Ah, may God grant that the troubles of the times 
reach us not in our safe haven and rend our bark 
from its fast anchorage,' cried the true-hearted Kath- 
arine with timid foreboding. 

At this moment the light in one of the boats 
began to hiss and sputter, and after flashing for an 
4# 



42 TALES FROM THE GERMAN. 

instant was extinguished, amid exclamations of sad 
surprise from the children. 

' What does that forbode ? — to whom does that 
boat belong ? ' asked Katharine, smilingly. 

' That is not decided,' eagerly cried Ulrich ; ' and 
the whole oracle is invalid.' 

* Elizabeth filled the boat with water by her awk- 
wardness, when she started it,' announced Martin, 
who had been investigating the causes of the 
accident. 

' Every event in life must have had its cause,' 
said Fessel with more earnestness than the trifling 
accident merited. ' If this portends the extinguish- 
ment of the light of life in either of us, I pray God in 
mercy to grant that mine may be the first to expire.' 

* Say not so,' tenderly replied Katharine. ' Our 
children would lose in you their only stay. Their 
mother would be more lightly missed, and the strong 
man would better bear the sad bereavement than 
weak and helpless woman.' 

' Why this earnest and deep-meaning conversation 
on new year's evening ? ' said madam Rosen, half 
angry. ' Come, children ; go on more briskly with 
your play and give us something pleasanter to think 
about.' 

' Who comes next ? ' asked Elizabeth. 

' Honor to whom honor is due,' laughed Hedwig. 
' Cousin Faith must swim now.' 

' But she must herself decide with whom,' said 



THE LICHTENSTEINS. 43 

Fessel. ' I have not been at Sagan for some years, 
and know not who has made himself most agreeable 
to her.' 

* Indeed, I know not whom to name to you,' said 
the maiden with a low tone and hesitating manner, 
blushing deeply for the untruth which thus escaped 
her lips. 

' Then we will take master Dorn for the occasion,' 
cried the obstreperous Martin, whose natural boldness 
was increased by the wine he had tasted ; * he is 
constantly giving Faith such friendly glances ! ' 

' It shall be so,' shouted Ulrich ; * and they shall 
have the handsomest tapers. Choose your own 
colors ; here are red, and green, and white, and 
variegated.' 

' Ked for Faith and green for me,' quickly cried 
Dorn, silencing the maiden by a gentle pressure of 
her hand under the table, as she was about to make 
some objections. 

' They must not, however, start together from the 
shore,' said Ulrich. * Well, do you set the red ship 
on that side and I will place the green one here,' 
answered Martin ; * and then they may seek each 
other if they wish to come together.' 

Brightly burning, the little barks swam tow^ards 
each other for a moment ; then, both floated to the 
edge of the platter and remained motionless, at some 
little distance apart. 

' Master Dorn is too indolent ! ' cried Martin, throw- 
ing a nut-kernel at the green skiff' to urge it towards 



44 TALES FROM THE GERMAN. 

the red ; but it only reeled to and fro, without 
removing from its place. 

' Insufferable ! ' cried Dorn. At that moment the 
water became slightly agitated, and both skiffs left 
their stations at the side for the open sea. 

' Faith has jostled the table !' cried the falcon-eyed 
Hedwig. 

'I — no — I wish to hinder their meeting,' stam- 
mered the confused Faith. 

' Did you really jostle the table, dearest maiden ? ' 
asked Dorn, his hand again seeking hers. 

^ Ah, ah, my daughter ! ' reprovingly exclaimed 
madam Eosen, and amid the exclamations of the 
children the two skiifs met in mid ocean, while a 
gentle pressure from Faith's hand gave an affirmative 
answer to the bold question of the youth. 

The joy of the children, which the grandmother's 
remonstrances only increased, was every moment 
becoming more bold and noisy. Without aim or 
object a crowd of lights were now set afloat in the 
mimic ocean, and apple cuttings and bread bullets 
flew like bombs among them, causing immense 
damage and innumerable shipwrecks. 'It is enough!' 
cried Fessel, the disturbance becoming excessive, 
and moved his chair from the table. A respectful 
silence succeeded the wild tumult. The children 
dutifully arose, folded their hands with a serious air, 
and Martin said grace with decent solemnity. 

The mistress of the house now invited her beloved 
guests to retire to rest ; that they might sleep away 



THE LICHTENSTEINS. 45 

the fatigues of the day ; but the children, who had 
again become as noisy as ever, and had not the least 
inclination to sleep, strongly opposed the movement. 

' It would be fine indeed,' cried Martin, * if we 
should have no waiting of notes.' 

* Pra}", pray, dear mother ! ' entreated the flattering 
and constant petitioner, Hedwig. ' You well know 
that you promised me, if I filled a writing book 
without blotting, that I should be indulged with 
writing notes, on new year's evening. My last 
writing book is without a spot, and you must now 
keep your word.' 

' Children are the most inexorable creditors,' said 
Fessel, directing little Ulrich to bring the waiting 
materials from the counting-room, while the table 
was being cleared. 

' This is a strange remnant of the old heathen 
times,' explained Fessel to the book-keeper, who 
looked inquiringly at him. * It is a form of new 
year's congratulation, and an oracle at the same time. 
You write three several wishes upon three slips of 
paper, which you fold and give to the person w^ho 
would try his fate. These wishes may be, honors, 
offices and success in business, to the men, — chains, 
bracelets, and new dresses, to the women, — agreea- 
ble suitors to maidens. All place the notes they 
have received under their pillows, and the wish 
contained in the one which is first opened on new 
year's morning shall be fulfilled in the course of the 
current year.' 



46 TALES FROM THE GERMAN. 

* I always take great pleasure in this sport,' said 
Katharine to her mother ; ' my husband is always so 
anxious to fulfil his oracle and to present me what 
is wished me in the note I open.' 

'There comes Ulrich!' screamed the children, as 
he entered, heavily laden, and deposited his burden 
upon the table. The notes were prepared, and the 
whole family were soon seated around the table, 
moving their pens as assiduously as if an instrument 
was to be drawn for securing religious liberty. 
Amidst the scratching of the pens, which were very 
awkwardly handled by the younger children, and 
therefore made the more noise, arose the admonitions 
of the father to sit erect, and of the mother not to 
bespatter themselves with ink ; which admonitions 
were obeyed just so long as they were heard. 
Meanwhile Dorn was sharply watching the paper 
upon which Faith was writing ; who, as soon as she 
became aware of it, covered the writing with her 
little hand and whispered to him : ' If you watch 
me, you will get no packet from me to-night.' He 
discreetly drew back and began writing his notes. 

Fessel now strewed sand upon his last note, 
enclosed it with the others and gave the packet with 
a kiss to his Katharine. The children snapped their 
pens to the infinite damage of the well scoured white 
floor, for which their grandmother very properly 
scolded them. Dorn handed his packet to the 
beauteous Faith, who hid hers in her bosom, stren- 
uously asserting that she could think of nothing to 
write. 



THE LICHTENSTEINS. 47 

The clock now struck the midnight hour, and a 
peal of bells from the tower of the city hall greeted 
the new year. 

* A happy new year ! a happy new year ! ' shouted 
the children, springing from their seats; and the im- 
petuous Hedwig proposed to open the notes directly, 
as the new year had already commenced ; but Fessel 
interposed his decided negative and commanded them 
to defer it until the actual rising of the new year sun. 

Amid the noise and confusion of the thousand new 
year congratulations, Dorn once more approached the 
lovely Faith. 

' Must I enter upon the new year without one kind 
wish from you ? ' he pensively asked. She looked at 
him with embarrassment and irresolution. At that 
moment she was called by her mother who was already 
standing in the door. The startling call helped her 
to come to a decision, and, suddenly drawing the 
packet from her bosom and smilingly placing it in 
Dorn's hand, she hastened after her mother. 

Long did the youth hold the much coveted packet 
pressed to his lips. ' How much earthly happiness,' 
said he to himself with deep emotion, ' have I de- 
stroyed in my military career. Do I indeed deserve 
that love should crown me with its freshest wreaths 
in a land I have helped to lay waste ? ' 

Dorn, who had retired late and awoke betimes 
with the interesting little packet under his pillow, 
found himself at an early hour leaning against a 
window in the family parlor, and engaged in examin- 



48 TALES FROM THE GERMAN. 

ing a delicate little note. While thus occupied, Faith, 
impelled by a similar restlessness, entered the room. 
As she perceived him whose image had embellished 
her dreams, an enchanting blush overspread her 
delicate face, and her beautiful blue eyes beamed 
with love and joy ; but when Dorn, enraptured at the 
encounter, affectionately tendered her the congratula- 
tions appropriate to the new year's morning, changing 
her mood she turned away from him with feigned 
displeasure and exclaimed : ' Pshaw, captain ! I am 
angry with you. You have wished me two horrible 
suitors.' 

* Before I undertake to exculpate myself,' said 
Dorn, ' only tell me which you drew from the packet.' 

* The duke of Friedland,' stammered the embar- 
rassed maiden with downcast eyes. 

* Look me directlv in the eye ! ' cried Dorn, seizinof 
the hand of the unpractised dissembler. ' Did you 
really draw no other name ? ' 

' Ah, let me go,' she murmured, her confusion and 
maidenly timidity rendering her still more charming. 

'You do not once ask what wish I have drawn ! ' 
said Dorn, holding up his note. 

' Who knows whether you would tell me the truth,' 
answered Faith. 

' Have a care,' cried Dorn. ' The suspicion can 
only spring from a consciousness that you have 
deceived me, and that is not fair. I will set you 
an example of ingenuousness. You wished a poor 
mortal to choose amonof three daughters of heaven. 



THE LICHTENSTEINS. 49 

Love, Hope, andFaitb, were inscribed upon your three 
notes. My good genius helped me to the best choice. 
Love I already had deep in my heart from the mo- 
ment I first saw you ; Hope visited me last evening ; 
and I only lacked Faith in the certainty of my good 
fortune. I drew it with this note.' 

' A gallant officer well knoAVS how to convert trifles 
into matters of importance,' said the maiden, repel- 
ling the persevering youth. ' I wrote the three names 
for you, merely in jest, Faith, Hope, and Charity, 
because they follow each other in the calendar.' 

^ Only for that reason ? ' asked Dorn in a tender 
tone, throwing his arms around her slender waist. 
Endeavoring to push him gently back with her right 
hand, she dropped a note which Dorn caught up and 
read before she could hinder him. 

' Victoria ! ' shouted he. ' You have draAvn my 
name, as I have drawn yours. Who can doubt now 
that we are destined for each other ? Obey the 
friendly oracle, dear maiden, and become mine, as I 
am yours, in life and death.' 

He embraced the lovely creature more ardently, 
while she, no longer able to withstand the solicitations 
of the youth and the pleadings of her own heart, sank 
on his bosom, and exclaimed in low accents : ' Thine, 
forever.' 

5 



CHAPTER V. 



* Well, really, master Dorn, you begin the porten- 
tous new year upon which we are entering in a very 
worldly manner,' cried a reproving voice behind them. 
Faith shrieked with terror that those blessed moments 
should have had a witness, and fled from the room. 
At the same time Dorn,- displeased at the awkward 
interruption, turned suddenly round and stood facing 
the parson, who viewed him with severe and reproach- 
ful looks. ' Is it well,' at length said the angry 
preacher, ' to seduce the inconsiderate sister-in-law of 
your brother and benefactor into an amorous intrigue ? ' 

* You are right, reverend sir,' answered Dorn ; * that 
would be to do him foul wrong ; but to seek the hon- 
orable love of a maiden whom I hope one day to lead 
to the altar as my beloved wife, appears to me to be 
well, and is not forbidden in the holy scriptures.' 

' You wish to espouse the maiden, then ? ' said the 
parson ; ' that is quite a different thing, and I take 
back my censure. In that case my office imposes upon 
me another sacred duty. The maiden is now under 
my spiritual care, and I must be answerable to heaven 



THE LICHTENSTEINS. 51 

for her religious principles, which might be perverted 
by an unbelieving husband. I have become doubtful 
of you, from your own conversations, and therefore, as 
a called and ordained servant of the word, I ask you, 
are you an orthodox Lutheran christian V 

' You would find it very difficult to justify that 
question before the great author of your reformation,' 
answered Dorn, moodily. ' Know you not how 
peremptorily he forbade the professors of his doctrines 
to designate themselves by his name ? ' 

* You wish to evade my question ! ' cried the parson, 
feeling the sting, but endeavoring to conceal the smart. 

' That is not my custom,' said Dorn. ' I will never 
deny that I adhere to the doctrines which were first 
promulgated in Switzerland, and have thence spread 
throughout the German empire.' 

' As I feared ! ' cried the parson. ' A Calvinist, or 
perhaps even a Zuinglian ! and you wish to take a 
wife of the Augsburg faith ? ' 

* Why not ? ' asked Dorn. ' That God who has 
disposed my heart toward the maiden, will not be 
angry that I choose her as my companion for life.' 

' I much doubt whether you can have and keep a 
true heart for one who is of a different faith,' said the 
parson, shaking his head. 

' God, who is eternal love, pardon you for the doubt, 
reverend sir,' said Dorn with emotion. * It is a sad 
consideration, that contentions about unimportant dog- 
mas and forms so frequently divide christians who 



52 TALES f!10M the GERMAN. 

should stand united against the common enemy. It 
would be dreadful if the feeble chains by which you 
are yet fettered, after throwing- off those of popery, 
should bar the way between two innocent individuals, 
whose souls have become united by the bonds of holy 
love.' 

* Unimportant dogmas and forms ? ' repeated the 
parson. 

' I consider them so,' answered Dorn. 'Adhering 
to the words of Christ, we celebrate, in the Lord's 
supper, only a holy remembrance of the Savior ; while 
you, by virtue of the same words, find therein a mys- 
terious presence of his body and his blood. You 
ornament your churches with pictures, of which prac- 
tice we disapprove. Are such differences really 
sufficient grounds for the quarrels and contentions 
which the followers of both confessions continue to 
wage against each other with such reprehensible 
bitterness ? ' 

* You wilfully overlook a principal point,' said the 
parson ; * the almost insurmountable partition wall 
which your Calvin has raised between you and us. 
I mean your monstrous doctrine of election. Aliis 
vita cBterna, aliis damnatio ceterna prcBordinatur ! 
How can you reconcile this declaration with infinite 
love and eternal j ustice ? ' 

' I willingly give up these doctrines to your disposal,' 
answered Dorn ; ' for they have never formed a part 
of my creed. Even Calvin himself stated, that he 



THE LICHTENS'BEINS. 53 

had some scruples whether predestination could be 
reconciled with God's wisdom, the rock upon which 
this doctrine has always foundered.' 

* I take this concession for all it is worth,' said the 
parson ; ' but I cannot pass over your assertion, that 
our difference upon the subject of the Lord's supper is 
a contest de lana caprina. Because your presumptuous 
reason cannot comprehend the declaration of our 
Savior, ' this is my body,' you wish to strike it out of 
the bible ; but this we cannot permit ; because we 
cannot give up one tittle of God's word, and because 
the communion solemnity falls to the ground when 
the mystery becomes robbed of the wings which 
bear it up to heaven. If, how^ever, you take away 
from the holy scriptures all that is not clear to you, 
nothing will remain but a good sensible book, but with 
no high revelation which can only be received by 
pious faith. If you can see nothing in the sacrament 
of the Lord's supper but a remembrance of its founder, 
you need not partake of the bread and wine. Without 
this medium it would be impossible for us to forget our 
Lord and Master.' 

' Sensual man,' answered Dorn, ' needs sensible 
signs as symbols of spiritual things. To be reminded 
of the author of our religion is to be reminded of his 
doctrines ; and as he established this solemnity and 
consecrated it to the remembrance of himself on the 
evening before the death with which he sealed his 
doctrines, so must it, according to our creed, be 
deemed sacred — must soften and purify our hearts, 
5=^ 



54 TALES FROM THE GERMAN. 

and inspire us with devout and holy resolutions, which 
is the important point in question for you as well as 
us. We consider the mystery unnecessary, and 
we have the voices of the earliest churches with us, 
as the transubstantiation doctrine of Paschasius Rad- 
bertus, from which yours but very little differs, was 
first heard of in the ninth century.' 

' For a book-keeper and ci-devant military officer 
you are deeply learned,' remarked the somewhat 
excited preacher. 

' My early religious education,' answered Dorn, 
' Avas superintended by a well informed, clear headed 
Bernardino monk, who afterwards, like myself, went 
over to Zuinglius's belief. I may thank him that I 
at least know what the point in dispute is, — a knowl- 
edge which, alas, is needed by many thousands of our 
brethren in the faith.' 

* I supposed something like that,' said the parson. 
' But I interrupted you. Proceed with your pretended 
refutation of my arguments.' 

' Excuse me from answering further,' modestly 
replied Dorn. 

' Because you cannot answer them I ' exclaimed the 
parson in imaginary triumph. 

' These controversial battles,' calmly continued Dorn, 
' have been too often fought in vain for me to hope that 
we can be brought to agree. I have not endeavored 
to defend my doctrines ; but only to show that a 
difference in creeds need not divide hearts. I abide 
by my tenets ; but I believe that you also may attain 



THE LICHTENSTEINS. 55 

salvation with yours. Believe you the same of mine, 
as I doubt not you do, and we can readily co-operate 
for the advancement of the good cause. The remain- 
ing topics of difference are not essential. Here it only 
concerns us, setting aside the creeds of men, to hold 
the doctrines of Christ as the true teachings of God's 
holy word, and by them so to govern our minds and 
actions that we may win the approbation of a good 
conscience, a serene dying hour, and a merciful 
judgment. That, in my opinion, is the true, living, 
christian faith ; and whoever has it is our brother in 
Christ, whether he calls himself Lutheran, Calvinist, 
Zuinglian, or even catholic' 

' My God ! you are then not even a Zuinglian ! ' 
angrily exclaimed the parson. ' This despicable tol- 
eration of all opinions is godless indifference, behind 
which naturalism and deism conceal themselves. 
Were you an intelligent and confirmed heretic, the 
argument might be continued ; but you are nothing 
but an eclecticus^ who seeks in Christianity just so much 
as suits his purpose, and throws the rest aside ! ' 

' Paul said, ' prove all things and hold fast that 
which is good,' ' interposed Dorn. 

' I am well satisfied that you do not desire to know 
any thing of the true faith,' continued the parson ; 
' and yet it is the only foundation of our religion. 
Know you not that Christ himself has said, ' he that 
believeth not shall be damned ? ' ' 

' If you could convince me,' angrily remarked Dorn, 
' that Christ intended those words to mean what 



56 TALES FROM THE GERMAN. 

intolerance would construe them, I would become a 
heathen from this moment, and joyfully take my 
portion in that hell in which the noble Socrates and 
just Aristides are burning.' 

The parson started back with a shudder. Dorn 
checked himself and continued in a subdued tone ; ' Be 
not alarmed, reverend sir, at my audacious words. 
My belief is not so bad as you fear. Would to God 
all christians had it, and then much less of tears 
and blood would be made to flow. Now repeat to me, 
quickly and peacefully to end our strife, that which 
Christ pronounced to be the chief commandment of 
God.' 

* Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy 
heart, and thy neighbor as thyself,' said the parson. 

' Even thine enemy ! ' added Dorn. ' How much more 
then those who only differ from us in opinion I Here 
you have my profession of faith, and I trust in God 
that I shall be able to stand before him at the last day 
with it.' 

' You confound ideas,' cried the vexed parson. 
' You speak of christian ethics, and I am reasoning 
only of the articles of faith.' 

* Devised by men ! ' said Dorn. * I hold the chief 
point- to be the observance of the system of morals 
taught by Christ. Do not you also ? ' 

' No ! ' emphatically exclaimed the parson after a 
short pause. 

' No ? ' asked Dorn with some surprise. ' The divine 
doctrine that we must live devoutly to die happily. 



THE LICHTENSTEINS. 57 

not the substance of our religion ! Ah, my dear sir, 
it was your cloth, and not your head or heart, which 
dictated that negative. You are too good and too 
intelligent not to be of my opinion.' 

' Ah, do not press me with such argumenta ad 
hominem^^ said the parson with excited but not un- 
friendly feelings. ' In point of fact there can be no 
disputing about matters of faith. It must come from 
within, and cannot be derived from without. Never- 
theless I do not for that reason give you up. A time 
will come when you will be no longer satisfied with 
cold syllogisms, and you will then seek a refuge in 
the open maternal arms of the true faith, in which only 
you can find peace. Until when, only let your conduct 
be as fair as your speech, and I shall at all events hope 
that the maiden will not have made a bad choice. 
One thing, however, you must promise me with hand 
and word. Urge not upon your future wife your un- 
belief, or half belief, or whatever else you may choose 
to call it. Cause her not to waver in her own, which 
she has imbibed with her mother's milk. Yet more 
than the strong and self-relying man does weak, deli- 
cate and suffering woman need a steadfast faith. You 
would rob her of a belief, which is capable of sustaining 
her in the hour of sorrow and trial, and give her nothing 
in return but cheerless and disconsolate doubt ; which 
would be an exchange unworthy of the magnanimity 
of a man.' 

' In this case you are for once wholly right, my worthy 
friend,' said Dorn : * and I promise you with this hand- 



DO TALES FROM THE GERMAN. 

gri])^ by God and my honor, to do as you require. Now 
let a lasting peace be concluded between us. When 
we hereafter meet above, as I firmly believe we shall, 
when the scales shall fall from our eyes, when we 
shall clearly see what we perceive but dimly here 
below, then shall we as surely be one in knowledge 
as we now are in feeling, and side by side before the 
throne of the father of all men shall we unite w^ith 
full hearts in the song of praise to the one true God.' 

* So may it be ! ' cried the parson, pressing the youth's 
hand and leaving the room with visible emotion. 



CHAPTER VI. 



In the forenoon of the 20th January, 1629, a joj^ful 
bustle prevailed in Fessel's house. The floors and 
steps were carefully swept, strewed with a beau- 
tiful yellow sand, and adorned with evergreens. A 
large fire was crackling in the kitchen, before which 
the spit was turning, and pots and stew-pans were 
steaming. The diligent housewife, notwithstanding 
the ready assistance of her mother, had her hands full 
of business ; her two daughters, who insisted on 
being employed, hindered more than they aided her ; 
and the sons who, with their cousin Engelmarm, had 
just returned from school, raced about the house like 
wild animals, practically illustrating the ' Dulce est 
desipere in loco^^ which they had that day construed 
in their class. In short, it was the betrothing day of 
the beauteous Faith and Fessel's new partner in 
business, master Dorn. 

The interesting pair had just returned from the 
church, where, in pursuance of a good old custom, 
they had made their mutual engagements in the 
presence of their God, and commended themselves to 



60 TALES FROM THE GER3IAX. 

his protection by pious prayer. In the house-door 
they encountered their brother-in-law, who was re- 
turning from the city council-room, where his attend- 
ance had a short time before been required. He was, 
however, unusually pale, returned but brief thanks 
for the joyous greeting of the lovers, and silently 
mounted the stairs with a slow and dull motion, as if 
he had been troubled with asthma. 

' In God's name, my brother, what has happened 
to you ? ' cried Dorn, returning from the kitchen, 
where he had left his fair companion. 

' Dark clouds are beginning to overshadow our 
horizon,' answered Fessel, with anxious concern. 
' Colonel von Goes has arrived, and demands permis- 
sion to march through the city with seven squadrons 
of the Lichtensteins.' 

' Goes I' exclaimed Dorn, becoming paler than his 
brother-in-law, and covering his face with his hands. 

^ ^Miat is the matter with you ?' asked the aston- 
ished Fessel. ' Do you know so much evil of the 
man ? ' 

' From the knowledge I obtained of him during my 
military service,' answered Dorn, making an effort to 
command himself, ' I may pronounce him a good 
soldier, and a man of honor ; but he adheres to the 
catholic faith with ferocious zeal.' 

' "We are under no obligation,' continued Fessel, 
' to admit troops within our walls, except upon the 
especial command of his imperial majesty . . . .' 

'You will not do so on this occasion I' exclaimed 



THE LICHTENSTEINS. 61 

Dorn with fearful vehemence. ' You will render the 
people of your city miserable if you open your gates 
to these dreadful protectors. They have given a 
specimen of the manner in which they treat protest- 
ants, at Glogau.' 

' What can we do ? ' said Fessel, shrugging his 
shoulders. ' The honorable council have a great 
inclination to admit them, and for that purpose hastily 
called some of the most respectable burghers to the 
town-house, to give their opinions as to what answer 
should be returned to the request. We honestly stated 
to the gentlemen what we expected of them. The 
colonel then remarked, that he hoped we would not 
show such disrespect to the imperial troops, as to 
compel them to take a wide circuit round the city in 
the present cold state of the weather. He then pro- 
ceeded solemnly to swear and protest, that he only 
desired a passage through the city, and a brief rest 
for the refreshment and recovery of the frozen. In- 
deed, he said he would have no part in God's king- 
dom, if any citizen were injured in consequence of 
the granting of his request.' 

' For God's sake, trust not to that oath,' begged 
Dorn.' 

' If the colonel be a man of honor, as you say, 
wherefore not ? ' asked Fessel with surprise. 

' Have you forgotten that horrible saying, hcereticis 

Tion est servanda fides V cried Dorn. ' No time is to 

be lost in averting the evil. The council is still in 

session. I will accompany you to the town-house, 

6 



62 TALES FROM THE GERMAN. 

and ask leave to address them upon this matter* 
Schweidnitz must not open her gates to these hordes. 
They certainly can show no mandate from the empe- 
ror, and if the worst come, we have walls and ditches, 
and strong burgher hands accustomed to the use of 
arms, to defend our dearest treasure, religious 
freedom.' 

During this conversation, he had with eager impet- 
uosity drawn his brother-in-law towards the door. 
There they heard the distant notes of a march from 
trumpets, clarions and kettle-drums, and the confused 
murmurs of a crowd reached them from the great 
public square. 

' We are too late,' sighed Fessel. ' The music 
comes from the direction of the Striegauer-gate. The 
Lichtensteins are already in the city.' 

* Then may God by some miracle give the lie to 
my fears, and Goes keep his word I ' cried Dorn. * I 
anticipate dreadful scenes.' 

Fessel opened the window and listened to the music, 
which at first appeared to approach, but afterwards 
sounded fainter and fainter as if receding. ' Do you 
hear ? ' said he to his distrusting brother-in-law, ' you 
owe an apology to the worthy colonel for your suspi- 
cions. The troops are already passing out by the 
Nieder-gate>' 

' God grant it may be so,' sighed Dorn, placing 
himself by Fessel's side at the window. ' I am not 
yet satisfied of the fact, however.' Both continued 
listening to the last dying tones of the march. 



THE LICHTENSTEINS. 63 

* How the ear can deceive one ! ' said Fessel. ' It 
now seems to me as if the music were again 
approaching.' 

' I fear it does not deceive you this time,' answered 
Dorn significantly. At that moment a cry of fear and 
anguish arose along the main street, and the worthy 
serjeant-at-arms of the city council was seen breath- 
lessly running toward the town-house. 

' Whither with such haste ? ' cried Fessel to him 
from the window. 

' God be merciful to us I ' cried the serjeant. ' The 
soldiers have made a halt at the Nieder-gate, have 
relieved and dismissed the burgher guard there, and, 
turning to the left about, are now marching up the 
main street. 

' That indeed does not look much like passing 
through the city,' sighed Fessel, closing the window. 
* It rather indicates an intention to take up permanent 
quarters here.' 

* For the purpose of proselytism ! ' cried Dorn, des- 
pondingly. ' Now God be merciful to me ! For if 
these villains insult our women, I shall die no natural 
death.' 

He hastened forth, while Fessel remained standing 
at the window awaiting the event in silent sadness. 

The music of the Lichtensteins sounded nearer and 
nearer, and sqon their banners, muskets and halberds 
came waving and glistening up the street, and in 
serried ranks the troops came marching into the 
public square. ^ Halt ! order arms ! ' was now echoed 



64 TALES FROM THE GERMAN. 

by the commanders. The muskets and halberds 
rattled upon the stone pavement with a dull crash, 
the music ceased, and the silent and motionless sol- 
diers remained standing by their arms. Only a 
malicious smile, which played upon their dark faces, 
and the restless and inquisitive movements of their 
twinkling eyes, gave them any appearance of being 
aught but lifeless statues. 

Katharine and Faith, pale as ghosts, followed by 
their mother, now burst into the room. The children, 
naturally excited by these unusual occurrences, crowd- 
ed in after them, to get a better view of what was 
Sfoinof forward. 

' Have the Lichtensteins turned back V simultane- 
ously asked or rather shrieked the three women, as 
Fessel directed their attention to the human masses 
in the public square. ' My end has come,' groaned 
the matron, sinking down upon a seat. The children 
hastened to the window, and in their innocent igno- 
rance right heartily enjoyed the view of the brilliant 
uniforms, splendid standards and glistening arms of 
the soldiers. 

' Children,' said Fessel calmh^ ' lamentations and 
complainings cannot help us. Let us not, in the 
present emergency, lose our presence of mind, which 
in times of misfortune is the greatest misfortune. I 
will go to the compting-room, and as far as possible 
during the short time that remains to us, place my 
property in safety. My Katharine will hastily collect 
the most valuable of our things, and conceal them in 



THE LICHTENSTEINS. 65 

the under cellar, I will afterwards see what course 
is required for our personal safety. My mother and 
sister-in-law must meanwhile prepare for the quarter- 
ing of the soldiers. As a well conditioned merchant, 
and a warden of the evangelical church, I may expect 
that a full share of them will be assigned to my 
house.' 

* It is fortunate that we have a repast already pro- 
vided for them,' sighed Katharine, seeking, among a 
bunch hanging at her girdle, for the key of the plate 
closet. 

' Provided for the betrothal-feast of our good sister ! ' 
said Fessel, compassionately caressing the cold cheek 
of the maiden. * Poor child ! they will leave you 
little enjoyment of it to-day.' 

* Only see ! ' cried little Hedwig at the window, 
' the officers are all crowding around a tall stately 
chief, and our alderman Newmann is standing near 
him with uncovered head and a great number of 
slips of paper in both hands.' 

' The tall officer is the colonel,' said Fessel to them 
by way of explanation. ' They are drawing tickets 
for their quarters.' 

' My God ! ' suddenly shrieked Faith, who had 
stepped to the window, and flew back to the remotest 
corner of the room. 

' What is the matter with thee, sister ? ' asked the 
sympathizing Katharine, hastening to her side. 

* It is all over with us,' sighed Faith, pressing her 
little hands upon her beating heart. * One of the 

6* 



66 



TALES FROM THE GERMAN. 



officers suddenly stared wildly up towards the house. 
I saw his face but for an instant, and it was partly 
shaded by his plume ; but I recognised it so certainly 
and with so much alarm that I could not help 
screaming. It was childish, I know. Pardon me 
that r frightened you so needlessly. How could this 
man come here at the present time ? and what a 
fool I was instantly to fear the worst ! ' 

* Of whom do you speak, my daughter ? ' asked 
the anxious widow ; and, as Faith was about to 
explain, Dorn rushed into the room. 

' Save yourself!' he cried. ^ Your persecutor, the 
broken captain of dragoons, now commands a com- 
pany of the Lichtensteins, and is endeavoring to 
get your brother-in-law's house for his quarters. His 
hellish object is obvious, and he may be expected 
here every moment.' 

' Then are we all lost,' groaned the mother. 

' Not yet,' said Katharine, with calm self-possession. 
' Listen to my proposal. These soldiers cannot stay 
here forever. While they remain, mother and sister 
can conceal themselves in the dry vault back of the 
cellar, whose opening in the garden is concealed by 
the thick grove of yew-trees. We can pile up boxes 
and casks before the door, and every evening convey 
to them provisions and consolation. 

' The captain shall be told,' interposed Dorn, * that 
you fled from Schweidnitz the moment you heard of 
the approach of the Lichtensteins. God reward you, 
Katharine, for the lucky thought.' 



THE LICHTENSTEINS. 67 

* You will accompany us in our hiding place, 
beloved sister will you not ? ' asked Faith. 

* Shall I take my husband and children into your 
circumscribed retreat?' smilingly asked Katharine; 
' or could you really and in earnest ask me to desert 
the dearest objects on earth to me? Nor is there 
any reason why I should. You have a sufficient 
cause for concealing yourself, having offended a bad 
man who would probably improve the first opportunity 
to avenge himself. I am only threatened with the 
same misfortunes every family in the city must 
expect, and with God's help I must endeavor to bear 
them.' 

* She is entirely right,' decided the mother. 

* My noble wife ! ' cried Fessel, embracing his 
courageous and .confiding spouse. At the same 
instant Hedwig, who was still at the window, cried : 
' There comes a hateful red-bearded officer directly 
towards the house, with a whole troop of soldiers 
behind him.' 

'Then indeed there is no time to be lost,' said 
Dorn, hurrj^ing the mother and daughter from the 
room. ' Farewell ! ' cried the women to each other. 
'God's angels protect you!' said Fessel, proceeding 
to the door, at which the Lichtensteins were loudly 
knocking. 



CHAPTER VII. 



At the head of the table, which had been beauti- 
fully adorned for the betrothal-feast, the red-bearded 
captain had seated himself in terrible majesty. 
Desiring, for the present, to appear unusually gracious, 
he had invited the heads of the family and their 
children to take places at the table. The hospitality 
so kindly extended to them in their own house by a 
stranger, imparted no especial pleasure to those 
invited. The children had formed the heroic resolu- 
tion of not eating a morsel, merely to show their 
dislike to the detestable red-beard. Fessel looked 
with a gloomy brow directly before him ; while the 
faithful Katharine forced herself to introduce and 
sustain the conversation, that a want of occupation 
might not give the fiend leisure for evil thoughts. 
Four arquebusiers guarded the doors, and in every 
part of the house arose the boisterous songs of the 
converters, who were revelling with Fessel's choicest 
wines. 

' We are satisfied,' said the captain ; and, emptying 
his goblet, he took off his military cap, murmured 



THE LICHTENSTEINS. 69 

some words in a low voice, crossed himself, again 
put on his cap, and then, with feigned affability 
asked : ' So, your mother-in-law left you last night, 
Herr Fessel ? ' and as the latter answered affirmative- 
ly, he further asked : ' And her daughter, little Faith, 
— did the good woman take her Avith her ? ' 

* Certainly!' stammered Fessel, who was not 
altogether prepared for this close examination. 

' Strange ! ' said the captain, extending his goblet 
to the lady of the house to be replenished. ' How a 
man's eyes may deceive him ! As I was standing 
with the other officers before the house three hours 
since, I would have sworn that I saw the little Faith 
standing at that very window.' 

' It was probably me whom you saw, captain,' 
interposed Katharine. ' You must have observed 
that I resemble my sister very nearly.' 

* Possibly ! ' observed the captain with a still more 
hateful smile. * You had, indeed, at that time, a 
rose-colored band in your blond hair, and now you 
have brown locks and a black plaited cap. However, 
that is not so very strange. Women's toilets often 
produce much greater transformations.' 

At this moment a violent outcry was heard from 
without. Fessel hastened from the room, and soon 
returned with his eldest apprentice, who was pro- 
fusely bleeding from a wound on the head. 

* What is the matter ? ' asked the captain, address- 
ing himself to the wounded man. ' How dare you 
thus disturb me while at table ? ' 

' By your leave, captain ! ' said the apprentice, 



70 TALES FROM THE GERMAN. 

with confidence ; ' your sergeant has robbed me of 
all the money I had about me, and then beat me 
over the head with his sword because I had no more 
to give him. It was proper that I should complain 
to you in order that you might take measures to 
punish the outrage.' 

' You did not know how to behave yourself prop- 
erly, my son,' said the. captain. ' My people are 
always kind and harmless as children to all who are 
complaisant towards them, and give them every thing 
they desire. Go and have your wound dressed, and 
be more careful another time.' 

' Is that all the satisfaction I am to get for my 
injuries?' asked the apprentice, irritated by the pain 
of his wound, and still more by the captain's con- 
temptuous answer. 

The captain's eyes flashed like two baneful meteors. 
' Satisfaction ! — injuries ! How dare you, a damned 
heretic, use such words in my presence ? vociferated 
he, starting from his seat. You ought to thank God 
that my sergeant did not cleave your head asunder. 
Pack yourself hence, if you do not wish that I should 
complete the work he began.' 

He grasped his sword, the young man sprang 
beyond his reach, and Katharine, in soft and soothing 
tones, besought the savage to be pacified ; but the 
last link of the chain, by which his natural brutality 
had hitherto been restrained, was now broken ; the 
wild beast in human form was let loose, and yielded 
only to the most savage impulses. 

' Do you suppose, vagabonds,' roared the fiend, 



THE LICHTENSTEINS. 71 

* that we have come here to keep strict discipline 
and to wait quietly for what you may please to 
dispense to us ? We are come to chastise you for 
your heresy, which is a revolt alike against God and 
the emperor. We are come to convert you to the 
true faith ; and if your stubbornness will not suffer 
our object to be accomplished by fair means, you are 
given over to us as a prize, with your property and 
lives, bodies and souls, to be tormented by us to our 
heart's content, until you are brought to repentance 
and an abandonment of your abominable opinions, 
or sink in despair.' 

' No, captain,' cried Fessel, with manly firmness ; 
' that is not the will of our emperor, and I should 
consider it treasonable to believe your scandalous 
assertions. Nor was that the condition upon which 
we admitted you within our walls. From your 
colonel's own mouth have I heard quite a different 
speech, and I shall go and ask him if he is about to 
give the lie to his own Avords.' 

* First go to your own chamber as an arrested 
prisoner,' said the captain, with a smile of contempt ; 
' until I have had you tried for your rebellious speech. 
Lead him forth ! ' commanded he to the guards. 
' Lock him up, watch him sharply, and if he attempts 
to escape shoot him down.' 

* Eternal justice, judge and avenge !' cried Fessel, 
as the soldiers dragged him away. 

* Mercy ! ' implored his faithful wife, clasping the 
captain's knees ; but the latter disengaged himself 



72 TALES FROM THE GERMAN. 

from her, put the children, who pressed around her, 
out of the room, drew Katharine to a window, and 
in a low voice said to her, ' you see that I can be 
either good or bad as 3'ou would have me. Upon 
you alone it depends how I shall further proceed. 
Therefore answer me honestly and truly, where is 
your sister V 

^ She fled last night,' answered Katharine, with 
calm firmness ; ' to escape the horrors which threaten 
us. Whither, I do not consider it my duty to inform 
you.' 

' This is fine ! ' exclaimed the captain, grinning 
like a Bengal tiger when his keeper compels him to 
show his teeth. ' I like to know how people feel 
towards me. I now go to my colonel, and you shall 
soon hear from me again.' 

He departed, and the children, again rushing 
in, embraced their mother with loud lamentation. 
Katharine sank upon her knees, and her children 
with her, and, raising their eyes and hands towards 
heaven, with a bleeding heart but nevertheless with 
confidence, the pious woman prayed in the words of 
the royal psalmist : ' Why art thou cast down, O my 
soul ? and why art thou disquieted in me ? Hope 
thou in God ; for I shall yet praise him for his 
countenance who is my help and my God.' 

The boisterous sorrow of the children subsided 
into gentle weeping, and from every lip was heard 
the loud, believing, joyful, amen ! ' 



CHAPTER VIII, 



Some days later, Katharine was sitting with her 
children at the close of day and exerting herself to 
read by the fading twilight a letter of consolation 
which her imprisoned husband had thrown to little 
Ulrich. The door was cautiously opened and a soldier 
in the Lichtenstein uniform hesitatingly entered. 

* Do not be alarmed,' whispered he, as they shrunk 
from his approach. ' I am Dorn, and have smuggled 
myself into the house in this disguise, that I might 
bring you consolation and see for myself how you were 
situated. Your mother and sister are in health and 
safety, and send kind greetings to you. Nor need you 
be anxious on your husband's account. I am certain 
that it is better for him to be in confinement than to be 
free and expose himself to the outrages to which every 
hour gives birth, and do things in moments of passion 
and excitement which would only make matters worse. 
Should his situation become more critical, I shall 
always be near him.' 

* In God's name, master Dorn, what is to be the end 
of all this ? ' anxiously asked Katharine. 

7 



74 TALES FROM THE GERMAN. 

' A city full of catholics,' answered Dorn with a bitter 
smile. ' The count of Dohna has arrived to-day. That 
is a sufficient reason for fearing the worst. From a 
renegade, who expects to win the principality of 
Breslau by his tyrannical fury, nothing is to be hoped.' 

' Then God help us ! ' sobbed Katharine, wringing 
her hands. 

* By means of our arms, if it cannot be otherwise,' 
said Dorn, with energy. ' I have carefully avoided 
encountering your worthy guest, because I well know 
that one of us must in that case remain dead upon 
the spot, and that would little help you in any event ; 
but, if it becomes necessary, I will strike the devil to 
the earth and free you from him.' 

' No,' anxiously entreated Katharine ; ' no murder 
on our account.' 

* That is man's work, dear lady,' said Dorn. ' No 
woman can reason upon the subject* Every one must 
act according to his conscience. It will be well for 
me and him if the necessity does not occur.' 

A gentle and afterwards a more decided knock was 
heard at the door. A voice asked, * are you alone, 
madam Fessel ? ' and directly the pale and bleeding 
face of parson Beer peered into the room. 

' How pale you look ! what has happened to you ? ' 
cried the frightened Katharine. 

* My face bears the marks of the converting zeal of 
the imperial apostles,' answered the parson with sup- 
pressed anger. ' Most terribly do these Lichtensteins 
deal Avith the servants of the word. I have escaped 



THE LICHTENSTEINS. 75 

with less injury than some of my brethren. Me they 
only misused and smote with their side arms, because 
I preached the truth to them with the sharp fire of the 
spirit which had come upon me. I heed it not, and 
even consider myself honored by the blows I received ; 
one of which came near making me a martyr. My 
worthy associate, Bartsch, was much more shamefully 
treated, and my blood boils and foams when I think 
of it. That they hustled, abused and plundered him, 
might be passed over ; but the hellish crew, adding to 
these outrages the most shameful scorn and mockery, 
compelled that man of God to dance before them ; 
himself, his wife, and children to dance, like the 
infatuated Israelites before the golden calf. For which 
the reprobates will one day be compelled to dance to 
the bowlings of damned spirits in the everlasting fire 
prepared for the devil and his angels ! ' 

' How goes it with the poor citizens ? ' asked Dorn, 
for the purpose of diverting the attention of the 
zealot from the occurrences which had so excited his 
anger. 

' As might be supposed, very badly,' answered the 
parson. ' The counter reformation may be said to 
have dated its commencement from the arrival of the 
terrible Dohna. The soldiers are quartered only upon 
the protestants, to whom they say, ' the moment 
you go and confess to the Dominican or Franciscan 
priests, and bring a certificate of the fact, that moment 
we will leave you and go elsewhere.' When the poor 
people have been thus oppressed until they can bear 



76 TALES FROM THE GER3IAN. 

it no longer, they become frantic and repair to the 
priests for the certificate of confession. The torment- 
ing fiends then leave them and are distributed among 
such of their neighbors as yet hold to the true faith, 
and treat them in the same manner, until they, over- 
come by the weight of the burthen, also go, like Peter^ 
and deny their lord and master in the churches of their 
adversaries. In this Avay we clergymen have each 
sixty men quartered upon us, and the aldermen the 
same number. Burgomaster Yunge has already over 
a hundred men to provide for, and if the apostacy 
extends much further, the last true believing christian 
of Schweidnitz will have the whole seven squadrons 
of converters collected in his own house.' 

* Why do not the wretched people flee and abandon 
house and home, property and sustenance ? ' asked 
the excited Dorn. 

' So they would have done, by thousands,' answered 
the parson ; ' but the converters will not let them go. 
The citizens are kept prisoners in their city, and every 
householder is confined to his house. The gates are 
closed, and each family is guarded by those who are 
quartered upon it. In vain have some of our wealth- 
iest citizens ofl^ered to give up all their property with 
the promise never to ask for it again ; in vain have 
others sought death rather than a continuance of their 
sufferings. That is not the object of our oppressors, 
whose only answer to all our prayers is, ' you must 
embrace our faith.' 

' I have heard enough,' cried Dorn, with bursting 



THE LICHTENSTEINS. 77 

rage. ' Say no more, or, unable to restrain my wrath, 
I shall strike some of the hounds to the earth and 
thereby bring my life to a sudden end. Farewell, 
Frau Katharine, — I return to my hiding place ; but 
shall not be far off, and most joyfully w^ll I lay down 
my life, if need be, in defence of you and yours.' 

He strode forth, — the parson stepped to the window, 
through which the bright moon was pouring its silver 
light, and, while watching Dorn's retreating steps, 
convulsively pressed his hands across his breast and 
gave frightful utterance to the following imprecation : 
' Thy hand shall find all thine enemies. Thy right 
hand shall find them that hate thee. Thou wilt melt 
them as in a furnace when thou lookest upon them ; 
the Lord will consume them in his anger, fire shall 
devour them. Their seed wilt thou destroy from the 
face of the earth, and their names from among the 
children of men.' 

' God preserve us, reverend sir,' interposed Katha- 
rine. ^ How can you offer up such a horrible prayer ? 
Rather should you remember and imitate the forgiving 
spirit of our Savior when he prayed : ' Father, forgive 
them, for they know not w^hat they do ! ' 

' Father forgive them, for they know not what they 
do,' he tremblingly repeated after her, his anger re- 
buked by the divine sentiment, and submissively raised 
his eyes toward the exhaustless source of love and 
mercy. 

7* 



CHAPTER IX. 



The next morning Katharine was sitting in her 
closet, with her infant at her breast. Over its rosy 
cheeks rolled the mother's tears in quick succession. 
Her other children were pressing around her, like 
chickens who seek to hide themselves under the 
mother's sheltering wings, and all were tremblingly 
and silently listening to the cries of lamentation which 
occasionally arose from the neighboring dwellings, 
evincing the activity of the tormentors. 

The clattering of spurs was heard at the door, which 
was immediately thrown open, and the captain entered 
the room, accompanied by a file of soldiers. 

' I am now satisfied ! ' cried he. ' I have subjected 
your cook to a sharp examination. You have more 
food prepared daily than is necessary for the family. 
Dishes are secretly conveyed away full and returned 
empty. I am therefore satisfied that your relatives 
have not departed ; but are yet in the city, perhaps in 
this very house, and my duty requires me to insist on 
their immediate appearance, that they may become 
participants in the reformation which we bring to this 
deluded city.' 



THE LICHTENSTEINS. 79 

* I have nothing more to answer upon that subject,' 
said Katharine with firmness. 

' No ? ' asked the captain, grating his teeth. ' Will 
you bring me a certificate of confession ? ' 

^ Not to all is given such greatness of mind as to 
enable them to change their faith according to the 
emergencies of the moment,' said Katharine, with a 
bitterness which the unworthiness of the tempter 
forced from her naturally mild heart. 

' Still scornful I ' growled the captain. ' The cup 
now runs over. To the cellar with this brood of 
young heretics I ' thundered he to his soldiers, who 
immediately forced the children from the room. * My 
children ! ' shrieked Katharine, making an effort to 
rush after them ; but the captain dragged the unhappy 
mother back. 

' The sands of mercy have run out,' he exclaimed; 
' and the hour of vengeance approaches. It is now no 
longer question of the runaway girl. I have torn 
from my heart my sinful passion for the heretic, and 
have to do only with you and your heterodoxy. I give 
you an hour to consider whether you will return to the 
bosom of the mother church. If you then obstinately 
choose to adhere to your erroneous belief, I will probe 
3^our breast yet deeper, and by all the saints I swear 
to you that I will find your heart.' 

He left the room. ' Preserve me from desperation, 
God I' cried Katharine, pressing her infant to her 
bosom and sinking powerless to the earth. 



CHAPTER X. 



When she awoke she was sitting in a chair with 
her slumbering babe in her arms, and before her stood, 
with weeping eyes, an old Franciscan monk belonging 
to the city convent, upon whom she stared with won- 
dering and uncertain glances. 

' Calm yourself, dear lady,' said the old man in a 
friendly tone. ' The cowl I wear may be doubly 
hateful to you in this heavy hour ; but it covers a 
heart that feels kindly and truly for you. I have 
heard of your sufferings and have come to bring 
you succor. I have not forgotten the kind attention 
and care I received in your house when, six years 
ago, I came here from Breslau as a mendicant lay 
brother, and fell fainting before your door. There 
were indeed hard-hearted Lutherans who chid you 
for your charity and said you ought not to trouble 
yourself about the beggarly papist priest, — but you 
answered that it was your christian duty to succor a 
fellow christian. That was a noble sentiment, and 
has ever since remained engraved upon my heart, and 
I have daily offered up my prayers that God would 
bless you for it through time and eternity. It is true 



THE LICHTENSTEINS. 81 

that by some of my brethren this prayer for a heretic 
has been considered sinful ; but I have answered them, 
' Solum de salute Diaholi desperandum^'^ and that it 
may please the Lord in his mercy to bring this good 
woman one day, if even upon her death bed, into the 
embrace of the only saving church.' 

' May God reward your love, my good father,' said 
Katharine with a feeble utterance. ' A kindly human 
heart is always deserving of respect and esteem, even 
though it wander in error.' 

' I came not,' answered the monk, * to hold a con- 
troversial discussion with you. My only wish is to 
warn you of what must necessarily and absolutely be 
done, if you would save your mortal body, to say 
nothing of your immortal soul. You must know that 
it is the irrevocable determination of the emperor that 
all the protestants in his hereditary dominions shall 
return to the true faith, and for that sole purpose has 
he sent his troops to this city. It is true that these 
soldiers conduct themselves here in a manner which 
no true catholic can justify, and should one of these 
so called converters stray into my confessional, he 
would have a hard time of it. But so it is, and I, a 
poor feeble monk, have no power to avert the evil. 
The Jesuits, who hold the emperor's heart in their 
hands, might and should have prevented it ; but they 
have kindled the fire and poured oil thereon. Where- 
fore I say, yield to the times, for they are dangerous. 
Without a certificate of confession your tormentor will 
not leave you — he dares not, even if he would. I 
bring you the necessary certificate. The urgency of 



82 TALES FROM THE GERMAN. 

the moment will not permit a formal confession, and 
you therefore need only subscribe to these articles. 
You can send your certificate to count Dohna, and 
receive in exchange for it one from him, which will 
relieve you from the presence of these soldiers.' 

' Excuse me ! ' cried Katharine. ' In the faith in 
which I have lived, will I also die. I cannot 
subscribe.' 

' How now, so good and yet so stubborn !' exclaim- 
ed the reverend father. ' At least read what you are 
required to subscribe, before you refuse. After read- 
ing it, you can subscribe or not, according to the dic- 
tates of your own judgment. These sacred truths 
must, I should think, be capable of striking the pure 
springs of true knowledge from the hardest heart.' 

Katharine ran her eyes rapidly over the articles. 
As she came towards the close, she read aloud. ' I 
swear, that through the intercession of the saints I 
have now become converted to the catholic religion.' 

' Place your hand upon your heart, reverend father,' 
cried she, springing up, incensed, * and then say upon 
your sacred sacerdotal oath, shall I not be guilty of 
perjury, if I swear that what I do out of fear of an 
earthly power, is done through the spiritual effect of 
the intercession of the saints ? ' 

The monk silently folded up the paper. 

' You see there can be no help for me,' said Katha- 
rine with humble resignation. ' Leave me, therefore, 
to my fate, and take with you my heartfelt thanks 
for your good intentions.' 

' You are a very obstinate woman ! ' said the monk. 



THE LICHTENSTEINS. 83 

with evident and deep sympathy. The longer his 
eyes rested upon her pale, pious and suffering- face, 
the more his sympathy increased, until at length, 
amid a flood of gushing tears, he cried, ' I know that 
I commit a deadly sin, but I cannot do otherwise. 
Take the certificate, which alone can put an end to 
your sufferings.' 

' How ! without confession or signature ? * asked 
Katharine with astonishment. 

' I have given to my God the offering of a long life,' 
cried the old man with vehemence, ' full of heavy 
privations and hard struggles. He w^ill now^, there- 
fore, be a merciful judge to me, and after long and 
severe penance will pardon me for once lending the 
aid of my holy office for the purpose of deception. 
Yet, should I even incur his everlasting anger, T can- 
not do otherwise. I cannot leave my benefactress to 
be persecuted to death, even though I may one day 
be compelled to enter the dark valley of the shadow 
of death, without absolution. Take the certificate.' 

* God forbid ! ' said Katharine, tearing it in pieces, 
' that I should rob you of your soul's peace and dis- 
turb the tranquillity of your dying hour. Nor would 
my own conscience permit me to accept your offer. 
Every use which I should make of this paper would 
be an act of apostacy from my own faith ; if a hypo- 
critical use, so much the worse. ' Be not deceived, 
God is not mocked.' ' 

* Woman, thou art more righteous than we ! ' cried 
the monk, with deep emotion ; and, covering his 
head with his cowl, he departed, weeping audibly. 



CHAPTER XI. 



The infant was still slumbering upon Katharine's 
bosom. The door was again thrown open and the 
captain entered, this time without attendants, bolting 
the door after him. 

' The hour is past,' said he with a demoniac smile. 
' Have you a certificate ? ' 

' No,' answered she, and at that moment the child 
in her arms awoke and cried for its nourishment. 
' Poor thing,' said she, bearing it towards an alcove. 

' Where are you going ? ' asked the captain, seizing 
her arm as though he would crush it in his ferocious 
grasp. 

' To nurse my child,' answered Katharine. ' You 
cannot wish that I should do it in the presence of a 
stranger I ' 

' You shall not nurse your child ! ' cried the captain, 
forcing it from her arms. * It shall not imbibe heresy 
with its mother's milk.' 

' What would you with my child, horrible man ?' 
shrieked Katharine, rushing upon him. 

' There it shall lie,' said he, putting it upon the 
floor. 



THE LICHTENSTEINS. 85 

The poor infant uttered the most lamentable 
shrieks. 

' For God's sake, let me go to my child ! ' ex- 
claimed Katharine. ' It is dying.' 

' In that case I shall have saved a soul to heaven,' 
answered the captain. 

' You cannot be a man ! ' cried the miserable 
mother. ' You must be satan disguised in the human 
form.' Convulsive spasms seized her. Her eyes 
closed, her lips became blue, and her senses fled. 

Some one knocked loudly at the door. * Are you 
here, Frau Katharine ? ' asked a voice which the 
captain recognized with terror. 

' Back ! ' cried the sentinel without. * The captain 
is with the lady.' 

' The captain ! and she answers not, and the child 
is screaming ! ' exclaimed the same voice, with wild 
alarm, — and powerful blows thundered upon the 
door. 

' Back ! ' again cried the sentinel, and immediately 
afterwards, with the exclamation, * Jesus Maria ! ' a 
heavy fall was heard near the door, which now flew 
in fragments. Dorn rushed into the room over the 
body of the wounded sentinel, who lay groaning upon 
the floor, with a drawn sword in his hand. The 
captain sprang to meet the intruder, but shrunk back, 
pale and trembling, the moment he recognized him. 

* Cut him down from behind I ' cried he to his 
soldiers who now came rushing into the room. 

' Down to hell ! ' thundered Dorn, thrusting the 
8 



86 TALES FROM THE GERMAN. 

captain through the body. With a frightful death- 
cry he fell to the earth, and Dorn threw down his 
bloody weapon. * I am your prisoner,' said he, with 
imposing dignity, to the soldiers, and took the child 
from the floor. ' Call the maidens to take care of 
the mother and infant, and then lead me to your 
colonel, to whom I have something of importance 
to say.' 

Hardly knowing what they were about, the aston- 
ished and confounded soldiers obeyed the bold youth. 
With loud cries the maidens rushed in to assist their 
adored mistress and quiet the screaming infant. Dorn 
impressed a last kiss upon the hand of the insensible 
Katharine, and then in a commanding tone he cried 
to the soldiers, ' now forward ! ' leading them off 
with a step as proud and as confident as if he were 
marching to battle and victory. 



CHAPTER XII. 



The generalissimo of the converters, count Karl 
Hannibal von Dohna, with the governor, baron von 
Bibran, the Jesuit, Lamormaine, and some field offi- 
cers, were sitting at a table, in the quarters of colonel 
von Goes. A large pile of ready prepared tickets, for 
quarters, were lying upon the table, among flasks and 
goblets, and the gloves and swords of the officers. A 
crucifix, kept upon the table for momentary use, seem- 
ed to look sorrowfully upon the horrors which were 
here perpetrated under its sanction. At the door 
stood colonel von Goes, to whom a deputation of the 
inhabitants of the suburbs were complaining with 
trembling humility, that his quarter-master had ex- 
empted each householder among them, for the sum 
of two dollars each, from having troops quartered in 
their houses, and now he had compelled them to 
receive two squadrons, who were allowed to oppress 
them w4th every species of cruelty. 

' If the quarter-master has deceived you,' answer- 
ed the colonel, ' he will not escape due punishment ; 
but you must submit to the quartering until you re- 



88 TALES FROM THE GERMAN. 

turn to the only true church ; for on no other condition 
can you be relieved.' 

The poor denizens departed with heavy hearts. 
' Inquire into this villany,' said the colonel to a sub- 
altern officer, ' and if you detect a rogue, let him be 
arrested and reported.' 

The officer went in obedience to the command. 
The colonel seated himself with the others, drained a 
goblet, and striking his fist upon the table, exclaimed, 
* a curse upon this whole expedition I ' 

'Jesus Maria 1' cried Bibran and Lamormaine, 
crossing themselves, while Dohna earnestly inquired 
why he uttered such an imprecation. 

' Because so much baseness, sir count,' fiercely 
answered Goes, ' mingles with the performance of our 
great and holy duty. Our people plainly show, that 
they are more anxious about the gold than the souls 
of the heretics. Every thief in the regiment will 
become a rich man in Schweidnitz. In the end it 
will become a disgrace to be called a Lichtensteiner, 
and I have a hundred times regretted, that in my 
pious zeal I opened a path for the entrance of these 
vagabonds into the poor city.' 

' It could be wished,' interposed father Lamormaine, 
in a conciliatory manner, ' that the business had been 
undertaken in a less public and violent manner, and 
I have heretofore expressed the same opinion to the 
count. This open and public assault upon these her- 
etics will serve as a warning to the others, and enable 
them to rally in their own defence. By rallying their 



THE LICHTENSTEINS. 89 

forces they will learn their strength ; their courage 
and obstinacy will increase, all who suffer for their 
erroneous belief will be considered martyrs, and in 
the end they will make many converts. We should 
have operated cautiously and quietly ; commencing 
with them softly, we should have increased the pres- 
sure by slow degrees, and should have thus avoided 
every open scandal. A constant dropping will wear 
a stone, and I am confident that we could easily and 
quietly have converted all Silesia in the course of a 
year.' 

' Yes, that is the way with you gentlemen with 
shaven crowns,' cried the count with a savage laugh. 
' You step very softly by nature, but when you have an 
object to attain, you also bind felt upon the soles of 
your shoes. Not so with me. My motto is, ' bend 
or break, — and so far I have found it a very good 
one. I can boast of having accomplished more than 
the apostle Peter. He indeed, upon one occasion, con- 
verted three thousand souls by preaching a sermon : 
but I have many times converted a greater number in 
a day, and that too without preaching. One year for 
Silesia ! Give me soldiers enough, and I will convert 
all Europe for you in a year, by my method.' 

' What sort of a conversion would it be ? ' asked 
Lamormaine, shrugging his shoulders. At that mo- 
ment Dohna's adjutant entered the room. 

' The rich Heinze,' whispered he to his chief, ' w^ill 
make a present to you of that costly writing table, if 
you will allow him the quiet enjoyment of his faith, 



90 TALES FROM THE GERMAN. 

You know the splendid article, the one for which the 
duke of Leignitz offered him four thousand dollars. 
It is below. 

' I will be with him directly/ cried Dohna, and 
taking a blank license from the table, he hastened 
out. 

Meantime a tumult out of doors had attracted the 
whole company to the windows. ' Do you know the 
cause of this disturbance ? ' asked Goes of the adju- 
tant. 

' A merchant's clerk has killed captain Hurka in 
his quarters,' answered the latter. ' The guard are 
bringing him here.' 

' That Hurka must have learnt the art of torment- 
ing from satan himself,' growled the colonel. ' What 
was the provocation ? ' 

' They say,' answered the adjutant, ' that, in order 
to compel his hostess to procure a certificate of con- 
fession, the captain tore her infant from her breast, 
and threw it upon the floor.' 

This announcement caused a universal and simul- 
taneous shudder among those present, despite the 
triple mail of pride and intolerance which encased 
their hearts, and Lamormaine discontentedly remark- 
ed, ' that is the way to make heretics, not to convert 
them.' 

^ This is a case in which mercy, rather than severe 
justice, should prevail,' remarked the strong-believing 
Bibran. * The captain's conduct was too horribly se- 
vere, and must lead to greater evils.' 



THE LICHTENSTEINS. 91 

' Let the murderer be led hither,' said Goes. ' I 
will examine him.' 

The adjutant retired, and soon returned with Dorn 
in chains and surrounded by guards. 

As Goes glanced towards him, he started back 
with fright, exclaiming, * my God, what a terrible 
resemblance ! ' 

Calm and collected, the young man stood there, 
with his eyes stedfastly fixed upon the colonel. 

With much effort the latter recovered his equa- 
nimity, and now asked, ^ know you what sentence 
the laws pronounce upon the assassin of one of the 
emperor's officers ? ' 

' I have committed no murder,' resolutely replied 
Dorn. ' I have only punished, in the presence of his 
soldiers, a villain who abused his power, and trod 
under foot the holiest laws of nature.' 

' That voice, too ! ' said the colonel to himself, then 
turning to Dorn, ' self- avenging is not to be justified. 
Your act is treasonable, and no evasion can save your 
forfeited life.' 

' Well, then, pronounce sentence upon your son ! ' 
ijjl^cried Dorn, with a sorrow which he could no longer 
control. 

' Son ! ' exclaimed all present with the utmost 
astonishment, and the horror-stricken Goes fell back 
into a chair, sighing, 'it is, indeed, my son !' 

The son beheld his father with deep emotion, and 
his tears freely flowed at the sight of the old man's 
grief. At length, falling upon his knee, he stretched 



92 TALES FROM THE GERMAN. 

forth his hands and said, ' I am sensible that accord- 
ing to your laws my life is forfeited ; therefore 
give me your blessing, and then quickly pronounce 
the sentence that shall bring peace to this troubled 
heart.' 

^ Oswald, Oswald ! ' cried Goes, * what a terrible 
meeting, after ten years of separation ! Wretched 
yoQth ! why did you flee from your father's house ? ' 

' The conflicting opinions w^hich now lacerate 
Germany,' answered the youth, ' placed a dreadful 
gulf between you and me. The idea of constraining 
the consciences of men by means of the sword was 
revolting to me, and, unable to approve or participate 
in your acts, and shuddering at your sectarian zeal, 
I left you, that no unnatural contest might arise 
between father and son.' 

' Where have you been until now ? ' asked the 
colonel with an anxiety which indicated that he 
feared to hear the worst. 

' In the military service of Denmark,' answered 
Oswald, ' until two years ago I found here in 
Schweidnitz, in the seclusion of humble life, the 
peace and quiet which I sought.' 

' In the Danish service ! ' murmured the colonel 
' fighting for heresy against the mother church ! ' 

His grief overpowered him. At length he roused 
himself by a powerful eflbrt from the whirlpool of 
conflicting feelings into w^hich he had sunk. ' What 
could prompt you,' he asked his son in a tone of 
firmness and severity, ' to the senseless deed of 






THE LICHTENSTEINS. 93 

murdering an imperial officer in a city under the 
control of his brethren in arms ? ' 

' Eternal ignomy to the man,' cried Oswald, ' who 
would see an honorable woman, a tender mother, a 
fellow believer, outraged and insulted by a brutal 
villain, on account of her faith, and not strike down 
the monster, reckless of consequences, as did Peter 
when his Lord w^as assailed ! ' 

' A fellow believer ? ' cried Goes with terror. ' Hast 
thoa then become a heretic ? ' 

* I hesitate not,' said the youth with modest resolu- 
tion, ' to avow^ myself a believer in the pure faith of 
Zuinglius.' 

' He cuts me to the heart,' groaned the colonel. 
Then, summoning resolution, he turned to Dorn and 
said, ' I hope you have now perceived and are ready 
to recant your errors. That is the only way to save 
your life.' 

' Would you have me deny what I believe to be 
true, through a pusillanimous fear of death ? Is it 
possible you can have so poor an opinion of your 
son ? ' 

The rage of the proselyting chief, which had 
been hitherto with difficulty restrained, now broke 
through all bounds. He caught the crucifix from the 
table, unsheathed his sword, and holding them both 
before his son, exclaimed, ' better to be childless than 
have a heretic for a son! Choose instantly. Abjure 
your false belief, or die by my hands I' 

' You gave me life, my father,' said Oswald ; and 



94 TALES FROM THE GERMAN. 

you can also take it from me. I remain stedfast in 
the truth. Therefore end quickly with me, in God's 
name.' 

' God of Abraham strengthen me ! ' cried the 
father, looking wildly towards heaven and raising 
his weapon ; but Bibran and Lamormaine caught his 
arm. 

' God does not require a father to sacrifice his son,' 
said the governor. 

* Would you give the heretics cause to curse our 
holy faith through your senseless fury ? ' cried the 
Jesuit to him, in a tone of reprehension. 

'Take him to prison!' commanded Dohna, who 
had returned to the room. ' He may there consider 
until morning, whether he will or will not abjure his 
heresy. Should he continue obstinate, I will then 
permit justice to take its course upon the murderer 
of my officer.' 

^ God grant thee his light and peace, my poor 
father ! Then shall we again meet above ! ' cried 
Oswald with filial tenderness to the colonel, who, 
exhausted by excess of anger, stared wildly about 
him as if bereft of consciousness, and finally rushed 
from the room without speaking. 



CHAPTER XIIL 



Overcome by sorrow for his father's anger, and 
racked with anxiety for the fate of his beloved Faith, 
whom he could protect no longer, Oswald sat in the 
criminal's apartment of the guard-house, looking 
listlessly through his grated window upon the snow- 
covered market-place. It was a cold still night, and 
the stars shone through the clear atmosphere with 
unusual brilliancy. The persecutors and the afflicted 
were finally at peace, and had forgotten their inso- 
lence and their sufferings in the embraces of sleep. 
The clocks of the church towers struck the midnight 
hour. The guard was aroused for the purpose of 
relieving the sentinels on post, and the rattling of 
arms resounded through the guard-house. The 
noise, however, soon subsiding, quiet again prevailed, 
and Oswald, to whom the confused and restless 
working of his mind had become almost insupporta- 
ble, laid his weary head upon the table and tried to 
sleep. Just then the bolts were drawn and his door 
was softly opened. A corporal of the Lichtensteins, 
with a dark lantern, and accompanied by two soldiers, 



96 TALES FROM THE GERMAN. 

entered the prison. Releasing the prisoner from his 
chains, he commanded him, * follow me to the count ! * 

'Am I already sentenced?' asked Oswald, with 
bitterness. ' Am I to be executed secretly, under 
the veil of night ? It is a sad confession that your 
deeds will not bear the light of day ! ' 

' Silence ! ' said the corporal, motioning him to 
follow. 

' God help me !' cried Oswald, throwing his mantle 
over his shoulders and advancing. 

The whole guard were snoring upon their benches, 
the officer was in his well warmed little room slumber- 
ing amidst his wine flasks, and even the sentinel with- 
out, leaned nodding upon his halberd. He was roused, 
however, by the approaching foot-steps, and present- 
ing his halberd to the corporal he cried, ' who goes 
there ? ' 

' A good friend I ' boldly answered the corporal, 
whispering the countersign. ' We are commanded 
to bring the prisoner to the general.' 

' Pass ! ' said the sentinel, shouldering his arms. 



CHAPTER XIV. 



The four hastened forth together. A sharp wind 
whistled over the market, while a raven, scared by the 
wanderers, arose with loud croakings from its snowy 
bed and with its heavy flapping wings slowly moved 
away. The shivering youth wrapped his mantle 
more closely about him and followed the corporal 
without troubling himself respecting the soldiers ; these 
last soon fell into the rear, and, dexterously turning 
into another street, disappeared. 

' Here we are,' said the corporal, suddenly turning 
to Oswald. The latter, startled from his death- 
dream, looked wildly about him. He was standing 
among the graves in a parish churchyard. 

' Is this indeed to be my last resting place ? ' he 
asked, throwing off his mantle. * Only direct me 
where to kneel, and be sure you take good aim.' 

* Kneel, indeed, you must, my worthy youngster,' 
cried the corporal, with joyful emotion, and thank 
God for your rescue, as soon as you are in safety ; 
but with the death shot we have now nothing to do. 
You are free.' 
9 



98 TALES FROM THE GERMAN. 

'Free!' cried Oswald, now for the first time 
missing the two soldiers. 

' Have you really forgotten your old friend Flo- 
rian ? ' asked the corporal, throwing the light of the 
lantern upon his facej of which Oswald soon recog- 
nized the well known lineaments. 

' Thou true friend ! ' cried Oswald, embracing the 
good old man with grateful affection. ' Thou, who 
once so carefully guarded the boy against the trifling 
dangers of youth, wouldst thou now save the life of 
the man ! I dare not accept the freedom you offer 
me,' he thoughtfully added. ' According to martial 
law you forfeit your life by this act. Rather than 
expose you to such consequences, I would prefer to 
resume my chains.' 

' Do not trouble yourself,' answered the corporal. 
• The two soldiers who accompanied me are secretly 
Lutherans, and had previously determined to desert 
this night. Your father supposes I am already gone. 
I have my discharge in my pocket. Although I am 
a good catholic christian, I cannot bring myself to 
approve of his method of making people blessed, and 
prefer quitting the service before I have w^holly un- 
learned to be a man. As soon as the gates open in 
the morning I shall leave this wretched city for my 
peaceful home. If you are willing to accompany me, 
1 will provide you with other clothes and pass you 
off as my son.' 

' No, my old friend,' said Oswald. ' I am bound 
to these walls by strong ties. They enclose what is 



THE LICHTENSTEINS. 99 

dearest to me on earth ; and I must remain here to 
watch over and protect, until I succeed in rescuing 
her, or fall in the attempt.' 

' Of course you will act your pleasure,' said the 
corporal. ' Besides, they will not seek for you very 
earnestly, for captain Hurka is by no means dead.' 

' How, Hurka living ? ' asked Oswald with mingled 
regret and joy. 

* It is harder to root out weeds than wholesome 
plants,' said the old man. 'Your blow was right well 
intended, but did not penetrate very deeply, and 
the long swoon which they mistook for death was 
only stupefaction.' 

* Ha, how furiously will the fiend rage again ! ' 
cried Oswald with anxiety and indignation. 

' Make yourself easy upon that score ! ' said 
the old man consolingly. ' He is now disabled by 
his wound, and your father has caused a lecture to 
be read to him, that may well satisfy him for the 
present. Besides, the merchant Fessel has been 
released from his imprisonment, together with his 
children.' 

' How stands it with his wife ? ' asked Oswald. 

' Indeed, she is to be buried the day after to- 
morrow,' slowly answered the old man. 

' Eternal God ! ' shrieked Oswald in the wildest 
sorrow. ' Vice saved and virtue in the grave, and 
shall we yet believe in thy providence ? ' 

' Yes, my son, we must!' said the old man, re* 
provingly. 'We must believe in the Father's guiding 



100 TALES FROM THE GERMAN. 

hand, not merely in the sunshine before the gathered 
sheaves, but also in the tempest which scatters the 
harvest. Else have we not the true faith. Treasure 
up this sentiment, even though it comes from the 
lips of an unlettered catholic. It has been a friendly 
light to me upon life's weary road, and will continue 
to cheer me onward to the grave. Now farewell. 
The morning wind already blows across the graves, 
and I have yet many preparations to make for my 
journey. Farewell, and remember me kindly. Should 
I never see you again upon earth, God grant that we 
may hereafter meet where the true Shepherd shall 
gather all his lambs, even those who have here 
strayed from the flock, into one fold.' 

He once more shook the youth most cordially by 
the hand, and then with hasty and vigorous strides 
left the church-yard. 



CHAPTER XV. 



The day appointed for madam Fessel's interment 
was drawing to a close. A crowd of people had 
assembled in the parish church-yard, with weeping eyes 
and pallid faces, awaiting in gloomy silence the arrival 
of the funeral procession. Two grave-diggers stood 
leaning upon their spades beside the open grave. 

The procession came. * Now for God's sake sum- 
mon resolution,' said a young Franciscan monk, whose 
face was almost wholly covered by his cowl, to an 
elderly rustic woman and a beautiful young peasant 
boy, whose eyes were almost blinded by their tears, 
pressing forward with them to a grassy hillock in the 
vicinity of the grave. A Lichtensteiner who had 
found himself in the crowd, surprised at the exclama- 
tion, placed himself near them and continued to watch 
their movements narrowly. 

The mournful hymn of the choristers was now heard 

approaching. High waved the crucifix upon the 

church yard gate, shining silvery bright through the 

evening twilight, and the choristers in double ranks 

drew slowly toward the grave. After them came the 
9# 



102 TALES FRO 31 THE GER3IAN. 

Lutheran preachers, with their heads cast down. 
Next came the black coffin upon the shoulders of 
the bearers ; upon its appearance the whole as- 
sembly broke into loud sobs, and notwithstanding 
all the efforts of the monk to restrain them, the 
peasant woman and young man upon the hillock 
wrung their hands with irrepressible sorrow\ After 
the coffin, came the weeping clerks, apprentices, and 
household servants. Then followed the bereaved 
husband, pale and tearless. With each hand he led 
one of his little daughters, who again each led a broth- 
er. To them succeeded a nursery maid, bearing the 
little Johannes with his blooming angel face, who 
smiled upon the crowd and by his happy unconscious- 
ness stirred the hearts of the people even more than 
the sight of the father and sisters, w^ho follow^ed their 
best beloved to the grave with a full knowledge of their 
irreparable loss. 

An immeasurable line of neighbors and friends 
closed the procession, whose tears and sighs, an ample 
testimony of the worth of the deceased, solemnized the 
burial instead of tolling bells and funereal music, which 
the rigor of the new church government denied to 
heretics. 

The corpse had now reached the grave. The bear- 
ers sat it down and removed the lid of the coffin, and a 
loud lament filled the air at the sight of the mart}T. 
The kiss of the angel of death had removed all traces 
of her late sufferings from her countenance. With 
softly closed eyes, and a heavenly smile upon her lips, 
she lay, as if awaiting that blessed morning whose 



THE LICHTENSTEINS. 103 

aurora seemed already dawning upon her spiritual 
vision. 

With outward composure the widower approached 
the coffin, clasped the folded hands of the pale corpse, 
murmured, ' Farewell, thou true one ; soon shall we 
meet again,' — and silently retired. 

The weeping children now rushed forward, but the 
clergyman. Beer, directed the servants to lead them 
back. He then stepped to the coffin, requested the 
audience to be silent, and with a loud voice addressed 
them as follows : 

' * Father forgive them, for they know not what they 
do ! ' These words of Christ, with which he prayed 
for his persecutors, were the last words I heard from 
the blessed being whose earthly remains we are now 
about to consign to the grave. My anger was inflamed 
by the atrocities which were daily committed in our 
city under the mantle of religion, and I prayed that 
the avenging fire of God's wrath might descend and 
consume our tormentors. This deceased saint checked 
my imprecation by calling to my mind the divine 
prayer of our holy Savior, and with a chastened and 
humble spirit I repeated after her : ' Father forgive 
them, for they know not what they do.' 

' And so must you henceforth pray, my hearers. 
Of the men who now by divine permission pursue and 
persecute us, by far the greater number are acting not 
from inveterate cruelty but under the influence of a 
mistaken sense of religious duty, and desire to lead 



104 TALES FROM THE GERMAN. 

US back to that path which they deem the only safe 
one ; and this desire is not censurable. 

^ But that they seek, by means of persecution and 
torture, to compel us to receive what they hold to be 
the true faith, — that they would bind the immortal 
spirit with earthly chains, when the word of God 
cannot be bound or confined, — therein lies their 
error. It therefore becomes us as christians to forgive 
them ; ' they know not what they do.' 

' Even that terrible man whose barbarity has de- 
stroyed this blessed martyr to our faith, knew not, as 
we charitably hope, what he did , — and therefore will 
we not curse him, but pray to God that he will purify 
his heart and enlighten his mind. 

' Therefore let us patiently suffer the afflictions 
which the Lord may yet send us for our good, without 
hatred towards the instruments he may employ for 
that purpose, and thus seek to become worthy of the 
glorious martyrs to the pure Christianity of the first 
ages, and of this our blessed friend. Should He require 
us also to lay down our lives for our faith, so will we 
without anger or opposition bow our necks to the 
death-dealing axe, and die with the departing excla- 
mation of our Savior, * it is fulfilled ! — Amen.' ' 

He retired. The lid of the cofiin was fastened 
down, and it was then lowered into the earth. 

In accordance with a pious old custom, the husband 
and orphans each cast three handsful of earth into the 
grave, as a last farewell, and the bereaved man then 



THE LICHTENSTEINS. 10-5 

retired, tearless as he had come, while the children 
found relief for their sorrow in audible weeping. 

All the spectators now pressed about the grave to 
pay the last honors to the dear departed, and from 
hundreds of hands fell the earth upon the coffin below. 
The young Franciscan also, by great exertion made a 
path for himself to the grave ; having thrown in 
his handful of earth, he hastily caught hold of his 
companions, and exclaiming, ' now forward, the mo- 
ments are precious ! ' led them away. 

* Why should the moments be so precious to this 
monk ? ' mused the observant Lichtensteiner ; and 
then, after a moment's reflection, he suddenly cried, 
' the captain may be able to explain it ! ' — and ran 
from the church-yard. 



CHAPTER XVI. 



Ix a low chamber in the little village of Friedland, 
eight days later, lay the aged Mrs. Rosen on the sick bed 
upon which the effects of her long confinement in the 
cellar, the extraordinary exertions consequent upon 
her sudden ^io-lit, and more than all, her sorrow for 
the loss of her beloved daughter, had thrown her. 
The owner of the house, a weaver's widow, who had 
formerly been a servant to her, and who had been 
indebted to her liberality for her comfortable estab- 
lishment, stood at the head of her bed with a phial 
and spoon in her hand, and with a countenance 
expressive of the tenderest sympathy. Before the 
bed sat Oswald and the weeping Faith. 

' Compose yourself, my daughter,' said the matron. 
* I shall surely recover from this illness. Alas, one 
may suffer much before the thread of life will break ! 
I feel much better to-day than I did yesterday, and I 
hope not to be the cause of anxiety much longer.' 

' God grant it ! ' sobbed Faith, sinking upon her 
knees before the bed, and covering her dear mother's 
hand with her kisses and tears. 



r 

THE LICHTENSTEINS. 107 

At that moment Jonas, the widow's son, entered 
the cottage with his hat and traveling staff, gave them 
a melancholy and silent greeting, and began to unpack 
his bundle. 

' So soon returned from Schweidnitz ? ' asked 
Oswald. ' What is the state of affairs there ? ' 

* Still very bad, sir,' answered Jonas. ' The soldiers 
abuse and oppress the people in a manner that might 
soften a heart of stone ; and you may consider it for- 
tunate that you are here.' 

' Did you succeed in speaking to my brother-in-law, 
my good friend ? ' anxiously asked Faith. 

* I saw him last evening, and told and gave him all. 
He keeps about with difficulty, to save his household 
from entire ruin. He gave me this letter and this bag 
of gold for you, and sends kind greetings to you all.' 

Oswald took the letter, broke the seal and read : 

' The persecution still rages, and I thank heaven 
that you are for the present in a place of safety. 
Immediately after the funeral of my dear Katharine, 
the clergymen were all compelled to leave the city. 
In the course of the night my house underwent a strict 
search, and even the vault in which you were so long 
concealed did not escape. The captain has already 
nearly recovered, and left his bed to-day for the first 
time, to wait upon the colonel. The latter, as I 
understand, gave him a very unpleasant reception. 
They afterwards conferred together for two hours, 
with closed doors. What was there agreed upon God 



IDS TALES FROM THE GERMAN. 

only knows ; but when the captain returned, I was 
standing in front of my shop, and he greeted me in a 
manner so terribly courteous that it made me shudder. 
I have just heard that a squadron of dragoons have 
orders to be ready for a movement to-morrow morning 
at day-break ; but their destination is kept secret. 
God be merciful to the poor people upon whom they 
may fall. I send you what I can spare, and beg that 
you will not again write or send any message to me 
until I make kno^^^l to you that you can do so with 
safety. My guests keep a sharp watch upon me, and 
I am very anxious about your last letter, which I 
mislaid in consequence of one of the soldiers having 
interrupted me while reading it. I yet hope to find it 
again. God preserve you and me ! ' 

A death-like stillness prevailed in the room at the 
conclusion of the reading, and no one ventured to 
express the reneAved apprehensions which the letter 
had inspired. 

' This is a discouraging letter,' at length observed 
Oswald, interrupting the general silence ; ' and I 
begin to fear we are not entirely safe even here. 
Would that we had fled to Breslau, as I advised I The 
capital of the province, which is at the same time the 
seat of government of the principality, will surely be 
spared the longest.' 

He was interrupted by a disturbance out of doors 
very unusual for that quiet and retired village. People 
were running: to and fro and callinor to each other in 



THE LICHTENSTEINS. 109 

the streets, and Oswald, alarmed, sprang for his sword 
which lay in the recess of the window. 

' Go out and see what is the cause of this disturb- 
ance,' said he to Jonas, and bring us word as soon as 
possible.' 

Jonas obeyed, and his mother observed, ' something 
very dreadful must have happened ; for the people are 
running and screaming, as if a fire had broken out or 
an enemy were at the gates.' 

* Protect us, Oswald,' begged Faith, leaning trem- 
blingly upon the youth. 

* While I live ! ' answered he, grasping his sword. 

* Save yourselves — the converters are coming ! ' 
cried Jonas, rushing into the room. 

' It must be a false alarm,' cried Oswald. ' You 
must be mistaken.' 

* I was told so by a farmer who has just returned 
from Waldenburg. He was about to leave that city, 
when a squadron of the Lichtenstein dragoons entered it. 
They dismounted for breakfast, and he had it from 
the mouth of one of the soldiers that this village was 
their place of destination. Whereupon he immediately 
left the city and drove home as fast as possible to give 
the alarm.' 

* Then we must have at least an hour's start of 
them,' said Oswald ; and turning to madam Rosen, 
' if you feel able to travel, I will immediately provide 
a conveyance to Bohemia.' 

* No, my son,' said the matron, with a melancholy 

10 



110 TALES FROM THE GERMAN. 

smile. ' For this time I must remain here and await 
the providence of God. I should only hinder you in 
your flight, and you would at last have only a corpse 
to convey across the border.' 

' I stir not from your side I ' sobbed the tender Faith, 
clasping her mother with anxious affection. 

' That would be folly, my child,' said the mother, 
earnestly, * and a very childish demonstration of your 
love. You and your betrothed are the objects of 
the search of our persecutors. They would have 
little desire to encumber themselves with me. I have 
wandered here as a peasant woman, and our hostess 
can give them to understand, that I am a yarn gatherer 
suddenly taken ill at her house. Your charms, and 
Oswald's stately figure render it impossible for you to 
be concealed in the same way, and therefore you must 
instantly forth.' 

' Never ! ' cried Faith, wringing her hands. 

* It is my will,' said the mother, with decision. 
^ Will you, my daughter, increase the sorrows of your 
sick mother by disobedience, and betray by your 
presence what otherwise may remain undiscovered ? 
Would you see your lover fall before your eyes, unable 
to defend you against superior force ? ' 

' I obey,' sighed Faith ; and she hastened to pack a 
small bundle and put on her cloak. 

' By the holy faith which we profess in common,' 
said the hostess, * you leave your mother in good 
hands.' 



THE LICHTENSTEINS. Ill 

' I am sure of that, and consequently depart with 
confidence,' said Oswald, leading the inconsolable 
maiden to her mother's bed-side. 

With bright eyes the mother placed her daughter's 
hand in that of Oswald. ' Be ye one, here and here- 
after ! ' cried she. ' That is my blessing upon your 
espousals ; and now let me beg of you to go directly, 
without any leave-taking, for which I have not strength, 
and which will rob you of time, every moment of 
which is invaluable.' 

Faith attempted to speak again, but her mother 
pointed towards the door, and Oswald led her forth. 



CHAPTER XVII. 



Daylight had long since disappeared when Os- 
wald and Faith alighted from their w^agon at a 
solitary inn beyond the Bohemian boundary. ' Here 
you are for the present in safety,' said the conductor 
who had brought them from Friedland, knocking at 
the door. ' The people of the house are honest, and 
of our faith at heart. The vicinity is full of secret 
Hussites.' 

' Who comes so late ? ' asked a little, dark- 
complexioned old woman, opening the door with her 
hand held before a flickering torch. 

' A young wedded pair, mother Thekla,' answered 
the conductor, ' who are fleeing before the converters. 
Receive them kindly and take good care of them. 
God will reward you for it.' 

' It is but our duty,' said the woman. ' Come in, 
poor creatures.' 

' Farewell,' said the conductor to Oswald. ' I 
intend to return directly ; for my wife and children 
may not be safely left without a protector among the 
reckless soldiery.' 



THE LICHTENSTEINS. Il3 

'And, that you have brought me here — ' said 
Oswald, forcing into his hand a couple of dollars 
over and above the fee agreed upon 

' I have already forgotten it,' said the conductor, 
laughing. ' Besides, when I get into the forest, I 
intend to load my wagon with wood, w^hich I shall 
gaily drag into Friedland early in the morning, and 
nobody will think of asking me what freight I took 
thence. May God protect you ! ' 

He mounted his wagon and drove rapidly away, 
while Oswald led his companion into the bar-room. 
To their great satisfaction it was tolerably empty. 
Only in one corner of the room snored three men 
and four large hounds on some straw, and at a table 
near the gray-headed host, with a goblet before him, 
sat a large strongly built man in the dress of a 
Bohemian peasant. Oswald observed the sabre 
which the guest bore, and the large knife in his 
girdle, with some suspicion ; but the honest linea- 
ments and saddened expression of his brown, haggard 
face, again inspired him with confidence. He courte- 
ously seated himself at the table and called for a 
glass of wine, while Faith was arranging with the 
hostess for a supper and accommodations for the 
night. 

' You are in flight on account of your faith, as I 
hear, my dear sir ? ' asked the stranger in a voice of 
the deepest bass, and at the same time glancing at 
him mistrustfully with his wild, black eyes. 
10* 



114 TALES FROM THE GERMAN. 

' The time and weather would have been badly 
chosen for a journey of pleasure,' peevishly answered 
Dorn. 

' You must surely have come from Jauer, or Loe- 
wenberg, or Schweidnitz ? ' further asked the man ; 
' for they are very strenuously pushing the counter- 
reformation in those places just now. 

'You are by far too curious I' cried Oswald, with 
displeasure. ' I do not willingly listen to such ques- 
tions from strangers.' 

' It is the business of my office to ask questions, 
my young gentleman,' thundered the stranger ; ' for 
I am a captain of Bohemian provincial troops, and 
am stationed here upon the border to guard against 
the influx of Silesian heretics.' 

While he said this, the four hounds sprang up and 
placed themselves growling before Oswald, and the 
three men half raised their bodies from the straw, 
their flashing eyes peering from their dark brown 
faces, and their well scoured muskets glistening in 
their hands. Oswald instantly arose and drew his 
sword. 

' Put up your weapon ! ' the man now cried in an 
altered tone, seizing his goblet. ' I but wished to be 
certain of my man. Come, be again quietly seated, 
and do me justice in a fresh goblet. The Bohemian 
goose and Silesian swan ! ' 

' Huss and Luther I ' cried Oswald touching glasses 
and emptying his own with a lighter heart, while 



THE LICHTENSTEINS. 115 

the hounds and soldiers again stretched themselves 
upon the straw. 

*"Do not be offended that I thought it necessaiy to 
prove you,' said the Bohemian ; ' but the tricks and 
artifices of the papists are so manifold, that these 
precautions are rendered quite necessary. You might 
have been a spy of the Jesuits. Since we now 
understand each other, however, I may converse with 
you without reserve. You are not safe even here. 
For my old friend, our host, I will indeed be answer- 
able ; but the converters sometimes come over the 
border to us ; especially when they deem that they 
have important game in view ; and you appear to 
me as though you might be of some consequence. 
Therefore, if it be agreeable, I will conduct you and 
your little wife to a place, where you may dwell in 
peace behind the everlasting walls which the Lord 
himself has built for the defence of persecuted 
innocents.' 

' There is no falsehood in that face ! ' answered 
Oswald ; ' and I accept your offer with gratitude.' 

' You will not indeed find our residence very 
elegant,' said the Bohemian ; ' and that delicate 
female form may be wholly unaccustomed to such 
quarters ; but necessity reconciles one to privations, 
and a very little suffices for our actual necessities.' 

* Be not concerned on that account,' said Faith, 
who had now seated herself near Oswald. ^ A safe 
shelter is all we wish.' 



116 TALES FRO.'\I THE GERMAN.. 

' Well, eat your supper/ said the Bohemian, ' and 
retire quickly to rest, that you may be ready to start 
by day-break in the morning. I have been long 
accustomed to watch through the night, and will 
guard you faithfully. With the rising sun we shall 
be among the rocks.' 



CHAPTER XVIII. 



Wrapped in his cloak, Oswald was yet sweetly 
and soundly sleeping upon the iloor, before the only 
bed in the house, in which his fair companion was 
slumbering. A knock was heard at the door, and the 
Bohemian cried, * bestir yourself, sir. The morning 
breaks, and we must away I ' The youth sprang upon 
his feet and awoke the maiden with a kiss. Soon 
ready to set out, they took a grateful leave of their 
worthy hosts and stepped to the door. Every object 
was obscured by a thick morning mist ; and the sun, 
like a large red ball of fearful size, was just rising in 
the east. 

' Let us wait a little, until the sun has dissipated 
the mist,' said the Bohemian, ' lest the lady should 
hurt her feet among the rocks.' 

They stood a short time, waiting and shivering in 
the morning wind. Oswald had thrown his cloak 
over Faith, and held her closely clasped to keep her 
warm. The mist moved before them like a waving 
ocean, and apparently resolved itself into numerous 
dark clouds, which settled down upon the earth, and 



118 TALES FROM THE GERMAN. 

seemed to root themselves there. Meanwhile the sun 
had mounted higher, the waving of the ocean of mist 
increased, and suddenly there came a powerful gust 
of wind which rent and pressed down the immense 
cloud-curtain, when a scene as singular as it was 
magnificent, lay before Oswald's astonished eyes. 
The dark clouds that had appeared to sink down 
upon the earth, had changed to huge masses of gray 
rocks, which, rising up into the blue ether like count- 
less palaces, churches and high towers, assumed the 
appearance of a gigantic city. Softly rounded snow- 
domes, crimsoned by the rays of the morning sun and 
glistening with thousands of diamonds, adorned the 
summits of these natural edifices, and the undying 
verdure of the pines and firs which arose here and 
there from the clefts of the rocks, gave a cheerful 
aspect to the view. 

' Great is the Lord, when seen in his works ! ' cried 
the enraptured Oswald, withdrawing his mantle from 
Faith, to enable her to enjoy the spectacle. 

Opening her large and beautiful eyes, she stood 
awhile as if blinded. ' How came this strange and 
wonderful city here ? ' asked she with astonishment. 
' Is it indeed a city ? * 

' Certainly,' answered the Bohemian, laughing. 
' We call it the stone city, and divide it into city and 
suburbs. It is here, however, properly called the 
rocks of Aldersbach.' 

' Are we to go in among those rocks ? ' anxiously 
asked Faith, clasping her Oswald more closely. 



THE LIGHTEN STEINS. 119 

' There is no other way, my child,' answered the 
latter. 'Be not alarmed — you see that I am not 
disturbed, which I should be, if I anticipated any 
danger to you.' 

' Ah, you iron-nerved men never anticipate danger 
until it is close at hand,' said the maiden ; ' and then 
it is too late to avoid it.' 

' Go on in advance, Lotek,' said the Bohemian to 
one of his companions. ' Beat the path a little 
where the snow lies too deep ; announce to the wor- 
thy pastor that I bring him guests, and kindle a good 
fire in my quarters, that the lady may be rendered 
comfortable on her arrival.' 

Lotek threw his musket upon his back, whistled to 
his wolf-dog, stepped off with long strides, and soon 
disappeared among the rocks. 

' Now, if agreeable, we also will start,' said the 
Bohemian. ' The sun is tolerably high, and I would 
not willingly remain abroad in open day.' 

' Come, my child,' said Oswald, offering his arm to 
Faith, which she took with a sigh, and they briskly 
entered among the rocks. The procession was led by 
the Bohemian, closed by his armed companions, and 
flanked by the hounds. 

' These masses are frightfully high,' said Faith, 
looking anxiously up at their summits. 

' They appear so to you,' said the Bohemian, look- 
ing back. * These, however, are but small affairs. 
We are now only in the suburbs. In the city you 
will see rocks worth talking about.' 



120 TALES FROM THE GERMAN. 

' Heaven take pity on us ! ' sighed Faith, wander- 
ing on until she came to an open space. Here tower- 
ed up, solitary and frightful, a single monstrous gray 
rock, formed like an inverted cone with its base 
stretching high up into the clouds and its apex 
imbedded in a lake of ice. 

* Do not go so near, Oswald,' said Faith. ^ This 
large rock must in the next moment tumble over.' 

' Fear it not,' said the Bohemian. ' This is the 
Sugarloaf, which has been standing thus upon its 
head for thousands of years, and will surely retain 
its position long after we are in our graves.' 

They were still advancing, when Faith, who was 
somewhat ashamed to exhibit her fears to the Bohe- 
mian, whispered to Oswald, ' only see that horrible 
gray giant's head projecting over us from between 
those high towers. I can plainly discern a monstrous, 
solemn looking face, surrounded by flowing gray 
locks.' 

' That is the burgomaster,' said the laughing Bohe- 
mian, who well understood the whisper. ' So is this 
sport of nature called, and it is the most beautiful of 
any here. You need not fear him, for he is the only 
burgomaster on earth who never troubled any one.' 

They continued to proceed farther and farther, until 
at length they were interrupted by a purling moun- 
tain stream. Beyond it, stood a broad mass of stone. 
The Bohemian leaped across the rivulet, rattling down 
a quantity of loose stones behind him, and with the 
humming operation of some wheel-work, the heavy 



THE LICHTENSTEINS. 121 

Stone moved slowly aside, and discovered a low, nar- 
row opening. 

' Do we enter there ? ' asked Faith in a tone so dis- 
consolate as to call forth a hearty laugh from all the 
Bohemians. Even Oswald joined in the laugh, and, 
clasping the maiden in his arms, he sprung with her 
to the opposite bank. They all now stood within a 
narrow passage, the wheel-work again moved, the 
entrance closed, and they were enveloped in darkness. 

' It is very dark here ! ' cried Faith, 

' We shall soon come into the light,' said their 
leader, advancing. The others followed, and they 
thus proceeded in a narrow path, floored with yielding 
planks, and bounded by high perpendicular walls of 
dark gray stone, between which was seen the dark 
blue sky — so dark indeed, that they could almost 
distinguish the stars in broad day-light. The trick- 
ling water glistened upon the walls like silver threads 
upon a black velvet ground ; and here and there little 
waterfalls, forming dazzling crystals with their 
congealing spray, bounded down the rocks and disap- 
peared under the planks upon which they were 
Avalking. 

* If we follow this path much longer,' protested 
Faith, ' I shall die of fear and anxiety.' 

' For shame, my love ! ' answ^ered Oswald. ' Will 
you, who spoke so boldly for me to the grim Wallen- 
stein, lose your courage here in the bosom of harmo- 
nious nature, where we are especially and wholly in 
the hands of a protecting God ? ' 
11 



122 TALES FROM THE GERMAN. 

* We are at the end I ' exclaimed the Bohemian, 
stepping out into the clear sunshine. The fugitives 
followed him, and found themselves in a narrow 
but pleasant valley, surrounded by high snow-covered 
rocks which cut off this quiet retreat from the rest 
of the world. A clear, silver fountain, which gushed 
from a cleft in the rocks, meandered through the 
vale, Avhile among and upon the rocks, like eyries, 
were to be seen about ten huts, built of rough 
branches, and well covered with moss, to secure their 
inhabitants from the inclemencies of the weather. 
Men, women, and children, were moving in and 
about these simple dwellings as quietly and con- 
fidently as if they had resided there all their lives. 
The fire ordered by the Bohemian twirled its smoke 
up into the clear heavens, and there sat Lotek, as- 
siduously turning a haunch of venison which was 
roasting before it. An old and venerable man with 
a long white beard, in a black clerical dress, and 
Avitli a black cap surmounting his white hairs, came 
forth from one of the best of the huts to meet the 
new comers. 

' Welcome, ye who have become outcasts and 
wanderers for the sake of your faith I ' said he, with 
solemnity, as he extended to them the hand of 
friendship. ' Welcome to the Hussite's Eest. In my 
hut there is yet room for you. Come, eat of my 
bread and drink of my cup. By the grace of God 
you have here found an asylum which will conceal 
and protect you as long as may be necessary ; for the 



THE LIGHTEN STEINS. 123 

destructive storm which now rages over the land, 
reaches not here.' 

' Heartfelt thanks for your hospitable offer, rever- 
end father,' said Oswald. ' Have you dwelt long 
among these rocks ? ' 

' For the last five years,' answered the venerable 
pastoi'i ' After our emperor (who will one day have 
to answer for the deed before the judgment seat) 
destroyed the sacred edict which assured toleration, 
and burned its seal, there was no longer peace or 
safety for the poor Hussites in Bohemia. As he 
openly declared that * he would have none but 
catholic subjects,' more than thirty thousand of our 
most respected families, embracing all ranks, wander- 
ed abroad to strengthen and enrich foreign countries 
by their wealth and industry. The poor cultivators 
of the soil could not avail themselves of the generous 
permission to emigrate with their property. They 
could not carry the soil with them, and being thus 
com.pelled to remain, they seized their arms and fell 
upon their persecutors. I myself, with the cross in 
my hand, led my parishioners against the enemy, 
and we struck boldly for our religion. Fresh armies 
were sent against us ; the gallows and racks were 
encumbered with the corpses of our brethren, and 
we were compelled to yield ; but it was impossible 
for us wholly to abandon our father-land, and we 
therefore threw ourselves into the caverns among 
these rocks, where a deep seclusion from the world 
is our only safety. Here we live quietly and peace- 



124 TALES FROM THE GERMAN. 

fully upon the produce of our labor and the chase, 
which we dispose of in Bohemia and Silesia, and 
are much rejoiced whenever a victim of priestly 
rage wanders hither to claim our protection and 
hospitality.' 

' We may now dismiss all anxiety,' said Oswald 
to Faith. ' We have at last reached a safe and well 
concealed haven.' 

' That beauteous form inclines so confidingly and 
yet so modestly toward you, young man,' said the 
venerable pastor, ' that I should judge you were not 
yet man and wife, but only lovers. If you desire it, 
I will pronounce the blessing of the church over you. 
I am fully authorized to perform the ceremony, having 
received ordination from our right reverend bishop, 
who now wears the crown of martyrdom before the 
throne of the Lamb.' 

' Have I your consent, my dearest ? ' asked Oswald, 
warmly pressing the maiden's hand. ' We already 
have your mother's blessing.' 

* Not now, dear Oswald,' said Faith, with mingled 
sadness and resignation. ' I cannot consent to take 
that important step while yet so deeply impressed 
with sorrow for the fate of my dearest relatives. 
Our love must now wear the mourning dress in which 
it has been clad by these unhappy times. It would 
be almost wicked to put on the myrtle now ; and the 
decisive yes, which should be spoken out of a joyful 
heart, would be stifled by my sobs and tears, under 
the present circumstances.' 



THE LICHTENSTEINS. 125 

' Your wish can alone decide the question,' said 
Oswald, tenderly, impressing a chaste kiss upon her 
forehead. 

* Maiden, it is evident you have chosen a worthy 
partner,' said the pastor. 'And early has your 
betrothed learnt the lesson of self-denial, the hardest 
in this life to be acquired.' 

Delighted to hear from such reverend lips the 
praise of one so dear to her, the maiden threw her 
arms about Oswald's neck and embraced him with 
love and joy. 



IP 



CHAPTER XIX. 



' The morning is fine,' said Faith to Oswald after 
breakfast, as their venerable host seated himself with 
his bible upon his knee ; ' and the valley here is so 
narrow and close that these huge rocks seem to press 
upon my heart. Let us therefore walk out a short 
distance beyond their confines.' 

' Venture not too far, my children ! ' said the pastor, 
in a warning voice without raising his eyes from his 
book. ' My old body is a true and faithful weather- 
prophet, and tells me that we shall have a severe 
storm to-day. These storms rage much more furiously 
here than in the plains, and, when they come, every 
living creature finds it necessary to seek a shelter.' 

'We will soon return,' promised Faith, skipping 
forth by Oswald's side. 

' Mark w^ell the place of entrance to our retreat,' 
said the Hussite, who opened the outer stone door for 
ihem ; ' that you may be sure to find it again. The 
passages among the rocks are very similar, and if by 
mistake you enter a wrong one you may be compelled 
to wander about all day long.' 



THE LICHTENSTEINS. 127 

' Never fear ! ' answered Oswald. ' It would illy 
become a soldier to be unable to remember any 
locality it might be necessary for him to find again. 
He then looked at the highest peaks in the vicinity, 
impressed their relative positions upon his memory, 
carefully examined the secret door, and thus prepared, 
they went forth into the clear fresh morning air and 
soon became engaged in a conversation of such interest 
as to render them entirely heedless of the lapse of • 
time. 

' I know not how it is,' said Faith, fanning her 
glowing face with her handkerchief; * it is yet mid 
winter here, and I am so very warm.' 

' It is incident to the summer of life,' said their 
former guide, who suddenly stood before them as 
they turned a corner ; ' especially when the sun of 
love shines warmly. It is not probable you will have 
much further occasion to complain of the heat to-day, 
for a storm is approaching.' 

' With the sky so clear ? Impossible ! ' cried Faith. 

' You know nothing of the tricks of the mountain- 
sprites,' said the Bohemian. ' One moment we have 
sunshine, the next thunder and lightning. That is 
the way with them. You will do well to return to the 
valley betimes.' 

He passed on and was soon out of sight. 

' We had better follow him,' said Oswald. 

' Yet but one quarter of an hour,' begged Faith ; 
' and then we will return as fast as we can.' ' 



128 TALES FROM THE GERMAN. 

' Who can deny you any thing,' said the youth ; 
* even when you solicit what should not be granted ? ' 

They still continued to advance, until they came 
where the rocks were less compactly clustered, and 
glimpses of the plain, presenting brilliant winter land- 
scapes, were occasionally obtained through the open- 
ings. 

' Ah, how much pleasanter it is here than in the 
pent up valley ! ' cried Faith, clapping her hands with 
childish joy. 

Oswald suddenly started and listened. ' Did you 
hear nothing ? ' he asked the maiden. ^ It sounded like 
a distant trumpet.' 

* Yes,' said Faith, after listening a moment ; ' it 
must be the blast of a trumpet.' 

' It may be our pursuers ! ' cried Oswald. ' Let us 
hasten back to our asylum.' 

He now turned quickly about with Faith, and, 
rather bearing than leading her, hastened to retrace 
the path hv which they had come. Before proceeding 
far on 'heir return, they were met by a colder and 
sharpen \ I'ld, and the snow which it blew from the sum- 
mits of : ■ f rocks involved them in a white fleecy cloud. 

' ALi . (Oswald, I can no longer see,' complained 
Faith. 

* It i: ')!!? little better with me,' answered Oswald, 
gropin: r the path to the right, which he supposed 
to be tlie one he should take. Still sharper blew 
the wind as the storm rapidly approached, and the 



THE LICHTENSTEINS. 129 

dark gray mountain-clouds lashed the immense rocks 
with their mighty wings, sending down their accumu- 
lated snows upon the heads of the poor wanderers. 
Still more wildly rushed and whistled and howled 
the winds among the rocks, in strangeh^ horrihle tones, 
and in the midst of the uproar they distinguished the 
sounds of distant rolling thunder and the flashes of 
lightning in the low dark clouds. In this struggle of 
the elements, all the summits and other landmarks 
which Oswald had noted to guide his returning steps, 
had completely disappeared, and at length he impa- 
tiently cried : ' I have lost the way. Why was I weak 
enough to yield to the washes of a child ! ' 

' Chide not, dear Oswald,' entreated Faith, submis- 
sively. ' I will willingly endure every hardship w^hich 
is suffered with you.' 

' That is what distresses me,' said Oswald. ' Were 
I alone, I should enjoy this storm instead of trembling 
at it ; for nature appears to me most beautiful in anger, 
and I have already been compelled to expose this 
brow to many a wild tempest. My anxiety for you 
troubles me. If your health should be injured by this 
exposure I should be inconsolable, and have only my 
own thoughtlessness to blame for it.' 

A brighter flash and louder report now put it beyond 
doubt that a terrible storm was at hand. The echoes 
thundered among the rocks, now nearer and now 
farther off, until they finally died away in indistinct 
murmurs. 

' A thunderstorm in winter ! ' cried the trembling 
Faith. ' That is doubly horrible.' 



130 TALES FROM THE GERMAN. 

* Who knows that this tempest may not bring a 
blessing ; and certainly it cannot do much harm here 
among these old rocks,' said Oswald by way of conso- 
ling her, still continuing to advance at random. 

* Thank heaven, I hear human voices ! ' exultingly 
shouted Faith : and like a doe she skipped towards an 
eminence with such speed that Oswald could scarcely 
follow her. 

A multitude of people were approaching, sure 
enough. It was composed of colonel Goes, the detes- 
table Hurka, and a troop of the Lichtenstein dragoons, 
who immediately aimed their arms at the fugitives. 

* Stand !' cried Goes, amid the thunder of the storm, 
to his son, whom he instantly recognised. ' Stand, or 
I command the troops to fire.' 

' Father, do no violence ! ' cried the despairing 
youth, throwing himself before the maiden, who had 
sunk upon her knees ; ' God judges righteously and 
protects the innocent ! Hear how he warns you with 
the voice of his thunder ! ' 

The captain gave a loud and scornful laugh. 

' Seize the rebel and his heretic bride,' shrieked the 
angry colonel. The captain, nothing loth, motioning 
his dragoons to follow him and confiding in his superior 
force, hastened forward, swinging his sword high 
above his head. The colonel accompanied him and 
the dragoons followed. 

' Save me, my God, from the crime of parricide I' 
cried Oswald, advancing to meet his opponents. 

At that moment came a blinding flash of lightning, 
accompanied by a deafening clap of thunder, and with 



THE LICHTENSTEINS. 131 

it rushed down from the highest summit a monstrous 
mass of stone which caused the earth to tremble as if 
there had been an earthquake ; a short, sharp cry was 
heard, and the pursuers and pursued were prostrated 
upon their faces. 



CHAPTER XX. 



The first glance of Oswald's opening eyes, when 
consciousness returned, was directed in search of 
poor Faith. She lay near him in a deep swoon. 
Flying to her aid, he applied snow to her temples 
and warmed her lips with his kisses. At length she 
opened her eyes. 

' You are yet alive, my Oswald ! ' cried she, with 
pious ecstasy, folding her hands as if giving thanks. 
' The Lord has passed over us in the tempest ; but 
he has remembered us in mercy ! ' 

' Pious maiden,' said Goes, who stood behind them, 
leaning like a dying man upon a dragoon. ' Pious 
maiden, so mayest thou speak, out of the fulness of 
thy pure heart, — but the sinner must smite upon his 
breast and cry, The Lord is just, and in his wrath 
has executed a righteous judgment ! Yet I may also 
give thanks for his mercy ; for he has only punished 
the incorrigibly wicked, w^arning the deluded with 
the voice of his thunder, and leaving him yet a space 
for repentance and amendment. Forgive me, my 
son. I had unlearned to be a man and a father; 



THE LICHTENSTEINS. 133 

but will again become one, even at this late hour of 
my life.' 

' Your goodness restores me to new life, my father,' 
said Oswald, pressing the paternal hand to his lips. 
His thoughts then instantly recurred to the monster 
who had allured his father there and stimulated him 
to the commission of crime ; and, catching up his 
sword from the ground, his death-flashing glance 
sought the captain. 

' He whom you seek is not far off,' said Goes, 
speaking low, so as not to attract the maiden's atten- 
tion, lest she should be too much shocked. With a 
trembling hand he directed his son to the enormous 
rock which, still smoking with the fire of heaven, 
lay in the path. The youth shuddered as he turned 
his head and beheld a naked sword projecting from 
under the mass, in the grasp of a stiffened hand. 
The captain's plumed hat lay near, and the surround- 
ing snow was reddened by a small rivulet of blood 
which came trickling forth. 

'Behold the judgment of God, and implore his 
mercy for your repentant father,' said Goes, sinking 
into the arms of his son. 



12 



CHAPTER XXI. 



Three months later, Frau Eosen was sitting in the 
little cottage of the weaver's widow in Friedland, 
with an expression of soft serenity upon her still pale 
countenance. On either side of her sat Oswald and 
Faith, each holding one of her hands, and all rejoic- 
ing at her convalescence. The rattle of an approach- 
ing carriage was heard without, and directly four 
black horses, attached to the carriage of colonel 
Goes, trotted up to the cottage door. The merchant 
Fessel, yet thin and pale from his past illness and 
sorrows, descended from the carriage and entered 
the room. 

As calamities suffered in common, only strengthen 
the bands by which good hearts are united, so the 
meeting of these friends evinced increased tender- 
ness and affection; while the memory of the dear 
departed, which it called up, received the tribute of 
many tears. 

' How stand matters in our good city of Schweid- 
nitz V at length asked the matron. 

' Badlv enough, as yet,' answered Fessel ; ' but 



THE LICHTENSTEINS, 135 

not near so bad as when you left us. There seems, 
mdeed, no prospect of an end to our oppressions. 
The Jesuits are constantly multiplying their encroach- 
ments and assumptions, and the royal judge whom 
the count has installed there commands that all shall 
become catholic communicants, and prohibits atten- 
dance upon the Lutheran churches out of town. 
These commands cannot be very effectively enforced, 
and the military executions have been discontinued 
ever since the departure of the tyrannical Dohna. 
Many of the troops also have been withdrawn, and 
but two squadrons now remain in the city. I must 
do, the colonel the justice to say, moreover, that he 
has done every thing in his power to mitigate our 
sufferings, even at great hazard of injuring himself.' 

' The Lord reward him for it,' said Frau Rosen, 
' and allow it to balance the long account in that 
book w^here his sins are recorded.' 

' I am here as his messenger,' continued Fessel ; 
' to conduct you all to the little inn near the rocks of 
Aldersbach, where he intends to hold a family festival.' 

' There ? ' asked Oswald with surprise. ' That 
indicates some important, and certainly some joyful 
purpose.' 

'He keeps his plans and objects very secret,' said 
Fessel. ' I have my conjectures ; but can divulge 
nothing. That it is to be a great festival I know by 
the extent of the preparations. He has been there 
with a stone-cutter and gardener from Schw^eidnitz, 



136 TALES FROM THE GERMAN. 

since the day before yesterday ; and he wishes you 
all to come in full dress to-day.' 

Fessel, having returned to his carriage, soon came 
in again with two large packages, which he delivered 
to the lovers. Faith hastened to her mother with 
hers, that they might examine and comment upon its 
contents together. 

Meanwhile, Oswald opened his package and found 
therein a splendid Danish officer's uniform with all 
its usual appendages. ^ The time for these gilded 
ornaments has long since passed with me,' he ob- 
served with a feeling of dissatisfaction ; ' and I do 
not deem it proper to wear the costume of a station 
which I intend never aofain to occupy.' 

'He anticipated the objection,' said Fessel ; 'and 
requests me to beg of you to wear it only this day, 
for his sake, notwithstanding your own disinclination.' 

' Ah, Oswald, look I ' exclaimed the happy Faith, 
holding out her present for his examination. ' See 
this beautiful white silken dress and this splendid 
diamond ornament I ' 

' It is very beautiful,' said Oswald, giving it a 
careless glance ; ' but is there no myrtle- wreath with 
the dress ? ' 

' I have already sought it in vain,' answered Faith, 
with a slight blush. 

' Alas I' sighed OsAvald, ' then the most acceptable 
present is wanting. ]\Iy dearest hope for to-day is 
at once annihilated.' 



THE LICHTENSTEINS. 137 

' Murmur not against your father, my dear brother- 
in-law,' begged Fessel. ' I will be answ^erable that 
he means well with you and our little Faith.' 

' It is well ! ' said Oswald, taking his package 
under his arm and retiring to dress ; ' but he ought 
not to have forgotten the myrtle-wreath ! ' 



12^ 



CHAPTER XXII. 



Panting and foaming, the four black steeds drew up 
before the little inn at Aldersbach, which was now 
gaily decorated with evergreens. The happy old 
colonel stood in the door, ready to receive them. 
Oswald assisted Faith, and Fessel his mother-in-law, 
to alight. Goes advanced to the latter and clasped 
her hand. ' You have lost much through us,' he 
sorrowfully said, ' can you forgive ? ' 

' Should I else deserve to be called a christian ? ' 
answered the matron. 

' May God reward your kindness ! ' said the colonel, 
leading her into the house, in the largest room of 
which several protestant officers of the imperial army 
were assembled. Oswald then entered with Faith, 
in all her youthful beauty, which was much height- 
ened by her rich dress. 

' Ha, what a charming maiden ! ' exclaimed Goes. 
' Yes, my son, her appearance would excuse thy 
choice, if indeed it needed an excuse.' 

' I cannot share any part of the satisfaction which 
seems to be so c^eneral,' said Oswald with forced 



THE LICHTENSTEINS. 139 

gaiety, ' as it is impossible for me to feel comfortable 
in a dress which is unsuited to my station and 
calling.' 

' It is exactly suited to your station,' said the 
colonel with solemnity, handing a folded paper to 
him. It was a major's commission in the Danish 
service. 

' This is wholly contrary to my wish,' exclaimed 
Oswald with surprise, as he perceived the nature of 
the document. ' I have laid down the sword forever ! ' 

* That cannot be done with safety at present in any 
part of Europe, my dear Oswald,' said Goes. * In 
these rough times a man must bear the sword, if he 
would not be compelled to bow his neck under it ; nor 
is there any prospect that it will soon be otherwise. 
You have repeatedly shown, that you will never be 
able to reconcile yourself to the humble and submis- 
sive condition of a burgher. Whenever occasion has 
offered, you have unhesitatingly drawn that sword 
with which you have professedly wished to have 
nothing more to do. I most heartily rejoice at it, be- 
cause of the evidence it affords that my blood flows 
in your veins ; but at the same time it proves your 
unfitness for the counter and yard-stick. You must 
again serve, — it is required both for your honor and 
mine. To serve the emperor would be against your 
conscience. I have therefore sought out a service 
which, as matters now stand, cannot be objectionable 
to either of us. A permanent peace has been conclu- 
ded between the emperor and the king of Denmark. 



140 TALES FROM THEGERMAN. 

Your new situation will lead you from Silesia to the 
land where your own faith, which is persecuted here, 
is openly and triumphantly professed. You will be 
spared the grief of being compelled to witness innu- 
merable evils which you can have no power to reme- 
dy. All these considerations were well weighed by 
me before I applied in your name for the honorable 
appointment which you surely will not now reject.' 

' You are right,' cried Oswald. ' You see farther 
than I do, and I gratefully receive the commission 
from your paternal hands.' 

' My application alone would not have met with 
such ready success,' continued Goes. ' For that, you 
have to thank one whose friendship and patronage 
you literally conquered at Dessau, — the duke of 
Friedland. He wrote himself to Copenhagen in your 
behalf; and the mediator who brought about the 
treaty of Lubeck could hardly be refused so small a 
request by the king of Denmark.' 

'Honor to the lion!' jocosely exclaimed Frau 
Rosen. ' Those large wild beasts generally have 
some generosity about them.' 

' All is in readiness ! ' said the old Hussite host, 
entering the room and throwing open the doors. 

* Give your arm to Faith, my son, and follow this 
man,' said Goes. The lovers looked at each other 
with some surprise, and obeyed the command. After 
them came the matron, supported by Goes and Fessel. 
The officers followed. 

The procession entered directly among the rocks, 



THE LICHTENSTEINS. 141 

and at length, magnificently gilded by the evening 
sun, the eventful mass of stone which had been de- 
tached and overthrown by the lightning, shone upon 
them with a far different and more friendly aspect 
than when it had last met their view. It was hung 
around with evergreens and adorned with flowery 
garlands ; and upon the most conspicuous part of it 
a medallion had been cut out, with these words en- 
graved upon it : ' The lightning of heaven here 'pun- 
ished and warned' Underneath was cut out the day 
of the month and the year. In front of the huge mass 
stood an altar, built of the fragments which were 
shivered from it when it fell. The old pastor of 
Huss's Rest waited at the altar, in his clerical robes 
and with opened book. On each side of him stood 
Fessel's children, holding wreaths of flowers. 

' What can all this mean ? ' whispered Faith to 
Oswald, in sweet confusion, while the colonel placed 
the missing myrtle wreath upon her blond locks. 

' Unite this pair in marriage, reverend father,' cried 
the colonel, with gushing tears, leading the lovers to 
the altar. 



CHAPTER XXIII. 



Mild toleration has spread its dove-like wings over 
the states of Austria for many long years since the 
period above referred to, — the colony of Huss's Rest 
is no longer to be found among the rocks of Alders- 
bach, — and the silver rivulet again meanders in silent 
solitude through the concealed valley. The huge 
rock hurled down by the lightning's stroke yet lies, a 
lasting monument, in the middle of the road, and the 
medallion may yet be recognised. Time has effaced 
the inscription, and the guide who now conducts the 
curious visitor knows only a legend of an English 
gentleman, who atoned for his desire to view a thunder- 
storm among the rocks by being very nearly crushed 
by the fall of this rifted fragment. In memory of his 
imminent danger, and in gratitude for his almost 
miraculous preservation, he is said to have caused the 
medallion to be carved in the rock. Of the punish- 
ment of the reprobate captain and the deep repentance 
of the colonel of the converters, they have long since 
forgotten the tradition ; and fancy may therefore be 
allowed to erect her light and airy castle upon the 



THE LICHTENSTEINS. 143 

granite foundation of history ; to picture forth to those 
now living the savage contests for opinion, of former 
'times, — and to warn them against the evils of an 
exclusive and intolerant spirit, into which we are in 
constant danger of relapsing. 



THE SORCERESS. 



BY C. F. VAN DER VELDE. 



13 



CHAPTER I. 



The first rays of the morning sun were brilliantly 
reflected by the polished arms of Ryno and Idallan, 
as they rode gaily forth in search of adventures. It 
was not their first similar excursion. As usual with 
errant knights, they had struck down many a dragon, 
vanquished many a giant, and rescued many a damsel 
from the clutches of wicked magicians. Delicate arms 
had clasped their knees in gratitude, tender bosoms 
had feverishly beat against their iron breastplates, 
ruby lips had pledged them in golden cups of the 
juice of the Syracusan grape, and yet their hearts 
remained cold and impenetrable as the pure steel of 
their armor. The delightful consciousness of freedom, 
strength, and youthful spirits, spoke in their every 
movement. Stately and beautiful they passed on their 
way, their sharp lances resting quietly upon their 
right stirrups, their swords peacefully clinking in their 
scabbards, and their hands carelessly holding their 
highly ornamented bridle reins. 

Suddenly they heard female voices uttering dis- 
tressing cries for help. The steeds snorted and pricked 



148 TALES FROM THE GERMAN. 

up their ears ; the knights involuntarily drew a tighter 
rein, seized their lances, and applied the spur ; and 
thus they darted forward with perfect indifference 
whether this new adventure should be crowned with 
wounds or kisses, blows or treasures, a martyr's 
chains, or an hymeneal altar. 

Their panting chargers soon bore them to a forest 
filled with oaks of a thousand years, whence had 
proceeded those outcries, which were now subsiding 
to sobs so low as to be almost lost to the ear. At 
length a green meadow opened upon them through 
the wood, and there, enclosed by a circle of Moors, 
stood two powerless maidens of angelic beauty, bound 
to a tree. An old, meagre, yellow monster, in the 
rich dress of the east, appeared to be feasting himself 
with gazing upon their charms. He had just drawn 
a dagger from his girdle and was about to approach 
one of the maidens, when Eyno and Idallan burst upon 
them from the thicket with the suddenness of the 
lightning's flash, and the fury of the storm. Knight- 
errant like, without asking any questions, they nailed 
six of the Moors to the nearest oaks with their lances, 
and then, (as if Vulcan had sent his cyclops to the 
work,) their blows fell like hail upon the astonished 
Moors. 

Courage, strength, knowledge of the use of arms, 
and the consciousness of a good cause, enabled them 
quickly to overpower their venal opponents. Those, 
who were not killed by the sword or trampled down 
by the horses, threw away their weapons and fled. 



THE SORCERESS. 149 

Only the horrid looking yellow old man kept his 
ground, and he was busily employed in drawing 
strange characters in the air with a black wand. 
' You lose your pains ! ' cried Idallan, laughing. * You 
must know, sir wizard, that our arms, tempered by 
the fairy Diamanta, fear no magic charm, and that 
only superior natural power can prevail against them.' 

' If you wish a proof of it,' interposed Ryno, 
springing from his horse, * I am here ready for the 
trial, and you may call back your flying Moors to 
arm you.' 

Without answer, but with a glance that disclosed 
the hell within, the sorcerer strode with uplifted 
dagger, towards his poor bound victim ; but Ryno's 
ready weapon interrupted him in full career. With 
rifted head the fiend sank to the earth, which imme- 
diately opened and swallowed his hideous form ; 
while a blue smoke, accompanied by fearful sounds, 
gnashing of the teeth and scornful laughter, issued 
from the spot where he had disappeared. 

The knights hastened to the damsels, and by the 
aid of their bloody swords quickly severed the bands 
by which they were confined. Water brought from 
a neighboring spring soon restored the fainting suf- 
ferers to consciousness, and with the first glances of 
their large blue eyes arose a new sun upon their 
deliverers. The charming girls cast a shuddering 
glance upon the field of slaughter, kneeled before 
the knights with their arms folded in thanksgiving, 
timidly murmured to them some words in an unknown 
13* 



150 TALES FROM THE GERMAN. 

language, and, after a short internal struggle, rushed 
into their preservers' arms. An ardent kiss burned 
upon the lips of each of the enraptured heroes ; 
but before they could recover from their delightful 
surprise, the maidens had escaped from their em- 
braces. One bound of their little feet lifted them 
into the air, — a zephyr expanded their dresses into 
sails, — and with glances of ineffable sweetness they 
rose high over the gigantic trees, and swept beyond 
the vision of their astonished beholders. 



CHAPTER II. 



' By my knightly oath, it is not fair,' said Ryno, 
after a long pause, ' to leave us standing here alone.' 

' It is ungrateful,' murmured Idallan. 

Ryno. — Say not that ; for had all my heart's blood 
flowed upon this spot, the kiss impressed upon my 
lips would have been a sufficient reward. 

Idallan. — I am wounded in the arm. 

Ryno. — And I in the heart, which is far more 
dangerous. 

Idallan. — What is now to be done ? 
" Ryno. — Resume our travels. The heavenly forms 
moved towards the west, and happily no direction 
can be the wrong one for us. 

Idallan sighed, and they proceeded towards their 
horses. 

' Hold ! what do I see ? ' cried Ryno. 

* Where ? ' asked Idallan. 

' A white veil, the earthly covering which the 
fairies left behind them when they mounted into 
the air.' 

The two knights rushed towards the veil, and both 



152 TALES FROM THE GERMAN. 

caught hold of it at the same moment. * It belonged 
to the damsel saved by me, and is therefore mine I' 
exclaimed Idallan. 

Ryno. — I saw it first. 

Idallan. — My blood flowed in the strife by which 
we have obtained it ! 

Ryno. — It is mine, I w^ill not yield it up. 

Idallan. — Nor I, but with my life. 

Both held th^ veil fast, and it was in imminent 
danger of being torn in pieces. 

* Hold ! ' said Ryno. ' Why should we senselessly 
destroy that which, uninjured, would make one of 
us happy. Let us calmly and peacefully determine 
our respective claims by an appeal to argument and 
reason.' 

' I never will resign my claim,' scornfully ex- 
claimed Idallan. ' If you persist in yours, the sword 
must decide.' 

Ryno. — You are my brother in arms, and wound- 
ed ; I will not fight with you ! 

Idallan. — Has the struggle with the Moors already 
exhausted your stock of courage ? 

Ryno. — Idallan ! Even this shall not provoke me I 

Idallan in a rage seized the veil, which Ryno reluc- 
tantly released, to save it from destruction. He hung 
it upon a high branch, and placed himself before it 
with his sword drawn. ' The veil is mine, if you are 
too cowardly to contend for it.' The noble Ryno half 
dreAv his sword, but, recollecting himself, immediately 
returned it to its sheath, and was about to mount his 
horse. 



THE SORCERESS. 153 

' Do you slight me ? ' roared Idallan, running after 
him sword in hand. Ryno was compelled to turn 
and draw, and a furious battle commenced over the 
dead bodies of the Moors. The attack and defence 
were conducted on both sides with equal courage 
and skill, so that neither obtained any advantage 
over the other. Sparks flew at every encounter of 
their weapons, the frightened birds flew screaming 
from the place, and the timid deer fled to the protec- 
tion of the remotest thickets. 



CHAPTER III. 



Under a natural arch of primeval granite, in the 
most secluded recess of a wild and savage mountain, 
was situated the deeply indented cave of the sorceress, 
Hiorba. The cavern was filled with sieves and caul- 
drons, mummies and bundles of herbs, hieroglyphics 
and mirrors, crystal globes and crocodiles, in mystical 
confusion. Two torches, held by skeleton hands, 
lighted the whole. In a circle of strange characters 
and human bones, lay the aged and despairing Hiorba, 
her face to the ground, frantically tearing the last 
remains of her silver hair with her withered hands. 
Two large black cats were caressingly and soothingly 
purring about her. Suddenly she appeared to be 
shaken as by an electric shock. She arose with 
flashing eyes, stretched out her magic wand towards 
the largest of the mirrors, and murmured some words 
of unknown meaning. Strange confused images 
appeared upon the clear crystal. As she anxiously 
watched the figures her interest seemed to increase 
every moment, and every moment her joy became 



THE SORCERESS. 155 

more plainly visible, until at length she gave a cry of 
ecstatic delight as Aliande and Daura, her charming 
foster-daughters, rushed breathlessly into the cave. 

'Here we are, good mother,' cried Daura, embracing 
her with ardor. 

' Escaped from death, from shame, and from the 
terrible Kasalkol ! ' cried Aliande, pressing the old 
woman's hand to her lips with filial love. ' Saved by 
the noblest, bravest and handsomest youths . . . . ' 

* Silence, children ! ' said the sorceress, interrupting 
them. ' My true mirror has already told me all, and 
more perhaps than you will be willing to confess.' 

Blushing and confused, the maidens cast their 
sparkling eyes upon the ground. 

' Quickly, ah too quickly, has love for your deliverers 
found its way to your young hearts. Faithfully until 
now have I guarded you against this dangerous pas- 
sion ; but the moment in w^hich the traitor Rasalkol 
succeeded in abducting you from this protecting cavern, 
my power over you ceased. The reprobate's hellish 
plan of destroying both you and me has indeed failed ; 
but you may yet one day wish that you had bled under 
his dagger ; — for the sorrows of unrequited love cut 
more keenly into weak woman's heart than a thousand 
daggers.' 

' You do not know our knights,' interposed Aliande 
in a scarcely audible murmur. 

' I know them to be men. As the wolf resembles 
the hyena, and both of these the jackal, so also do 



156 TALES FROM THE GERMAN. 

the whole profligate sex resemble each other, — differ- 
ing only in their outward appearance and capacity for 
seizing their prey. The inexperienced eyes of the 
harmless doe are easily fascinated by the beautiful 
stripes of the blood-thirsty tiger ! ' 

Tears trickled down the maidens' cheeks, at this 
reproof. 

^ I love you my children,' continued Hiorba in a 
tenderer tone. * You are the grand-children of my 
good niece, whom I buried on my hundredth birth day. 
Willingly would I have rendered you happy, which 
you can only be in an unmarried state ; but you are 
in love, and all my w^arnings are spoken to the winds. 
For once, however, yield to a mother's anxiety : Let 
me prove the men of your choice,' 

' Has not their battle with Rasalkol and his Moors 
already proved them sufficiently ? ' asked Aliande. 

' Their knightly courage, — but not their hearts.' 

' If all men were proved in advance,' answered 
Daura, with a faint smile, ' w^ho would come unscathed 
from the furnace ? ' 

' Your questions contain a significant denial of my 
request,' answered Hiorba. * Since you have seen 
these strangers I have no longer any influence over 
your hearts. Consider well my last warning.' 

She again raised her wand to the mirror and the field 
of battle again presented itself. Aliande saw the 
fluttering veil, and the furious contention of the 
knights. 



THE SORCERESS. 157 

* For God's sake, Hiorba,' shrieked the maidens; 
' help, protect save ! ' 

' See you those rough and savage men ? ' said 
Hiorba ; * They do not know which has the best right 
to the flimsy web, and yet each knight is ready to 
murder his brother-in-arms for its possession. You 
have here a specimen of what men call honor ; and 
believe me, as their feet now recklessly trample upon 
the delicate wood-flower in their deadly struggle, so 
will the tyranny of their strength, their pride, and 
their sensuality, trample upon all your tenderest feelings 
and finally break your hearts.' 

* Why waste so many words,' complained the 
maidens ; ' save, good mother, separate the frantic 
knights.' 

Shaking her head in token of disapprobation, Hiorba 
reluctantly took her Vv^and and opened a cage which 
hung from the arch above ; a bird of paradise came 
chirping thence, and perched confidingly upon her 
shoulder. 

' Go, bring me the veil, Immo I ' said Hiorba ; ^ and 
lead hither the contending knights, also.' 

With her wand she softly touched the bird between 
its wings, and, sweetly warbling, it shot off like an 
arrow from the bow. 



14 



CHAPTER IV. 



Ryno and Idallan still continued their insane strug- 
gle. Their helmets and scarfs were hacked to pieces, 
and hung in fragments about their shoulders. The 
green sward was already dyed crimson from their 
man}' wounds, when the thrilling song of a bird, ful- 
ler and sweeter than the voluptuous tones of the night- 
ingale, filled the neighboring air. Through the sooth- 
ing influence of those tones, softer feelings were 
awakened in the breasts of the combatants. An 
armistice was tacitly concluded ; and with suspended 
breath they listened to the heavenly music, until they 
at length perceived a beautiful winged songster flut- 
tering about the branch upon which the veil was 
hanging. Softer and more soul-thrilling were the 
seductive tones poured from its little throat, and Ryno 
hazarded the remark : 

' How foolish to be hacking each other's bones for 
a thing of so little consequence I ' 

' You are right ! ' said Idallan, putting up his sword 
and extending his hand to his brother-in-arms. A 
clear-ringing song of triumph resounded from the 



THE SORCERESS. 159 

beak of the wonderful bird as their hands met with 
the grasp of reconciliation, while the little mediator 
seized the veil in its purple claws, and moved slowly 
and gracefully toward the west, still continuing its 
enticing music. ' It calls us, brother, shall we not 
follow ? ' asked Ryno. 

' Yes, let us pursue the veil ! ' cried Idallan : ' this 
beauteous banner leads us to more delightful con- 
quests !' 

They resumed their saddles and hastened to follow 
their mysterious guide, keeping their eyes immovably 
fixed upon the bright and waving emblem, which 
remained constantly visible in the distance. 



CHAPTER V. 



The gray-haired Hiorba was standing with her 
blooming daughters upon the ruins of an ancient 
castle. ' You will not listen to my warnings,' she 
sadly and affectionately remarked. ' You scorn to 
consecrate your virgin purity to the gods, as I have 
done, and receive rare knowledge, great power, and 
almost an earthly immortality, in return. The ardent 
wishes of youth kindle only for sensual enjoyments, 
which are "ever mingled with sorrow and of short 
duration. Your desires shall be gratified. You shall 
possess whatever can bless mortal maidens : wealth, 
splendor, honors, and the husbands of your choice. 
The rest must depend upon the gods.' 

' Why so earnest and solemn, good mother ? ' said 
Aliande. 

' Your present situation, your inconsiderate choice 
for a whole life, the reflection that your days will be 
embittered and abridged by unappreciated and betrayed 
love, all contribute to make me sad. An equal afflic- 
tion threatens both of you, for it is not in my power 
to call back spirits from the blooming fields of Wal- 



THE SORCERESS. 161 

halla to furnish husbands for you. It is done ! I 
hear the distant song of Immo, and hasten to prepare 
your future abodes.' 

Drawing a circle which included herself and the 
maidens, Hiorba then pronounced the mysterious 
words of conjuration. Subterranean thunder was 
heard, the earth heaved, gleams of lightning escaped 
through the cleft rocks, and a thick smoke almost' 
destroyed the power of respiration. In an instant 
they became fearfully conscious that they were no 
longer alone among the ruins. Innumerable demons 
surrounded Hiorba's magic circle, respectfully awaiting 
her commands. 

' Spirits of the Earth ! ' cried the antiquated virgin 
with great dignity, ' my foster-daughters, Aliande 
and Daura, require of me a dowry. Spirits of the 
east and west ! I command you to convert these ruins 
into a splendid castle for the residence of Aliande. 
Spirits of the north and south ! Prepare upon yonder 
hill a similar abode for my Daura. To the work ! In 
nine times nine twinklings of the eye must all be 
completed.' 

A motion of her wand, and half of the demons 
disappeared. The other half cleaved the earth for 
the purpose of bringing forth the granite, marble, 
gold, iron and other materials required for the edifice. 
The lightning played and the thunder rolled inces- 
santly, earthquakes followed each other in quick suc- 
cession, the winds howled, and the subterranean 
waters rushed and roared most fearfully. All nature 
14# 



162 TALES FROM THE GERMAN. 

appeared to lie in convulsions, as if it were a wicked 
invasion of her rights that immortal hands should 
perform the work of mortals. Powerless and insen- 
sible lay Aliande and Daura within the circle. Terrible 
flames burst from the crevices of the earth, giving 
fearful tokens of the subterranean labors of the gnomes. 
Hiorba stood amid the general uproar, calmly direct- 
ing the raging elements, w^hich never for a moment 
disturbed so much as one of the silver hairs of her 
head. 



CHAPTER VI. 



The nine times nine moments had expired ; the 
subterranean flames were extinguished, and the bright 
sun shone upon a magnificent palace encompassed by 
high walls, while its rays were brilliantly reflected by 
the metal roof. The gilded summits of its seven 
towers flashed in the sunlight like the seven stars. 
Hiorba viewed the labor of her mysterious agents with 
satisfaction, and then awoke the damsels with a touch 
of her wand. They looked around with astonishment 
upon the new world in which they found themselves. 
They had fallen asleep among ruins, upon damp moss 
overgrown with thorns and nettles, and now awoke 
upon soft couches of velvet and gold, in the balcony 
of a splendid edifice. The building was of granite, 
faced with marble, uniting the strength of the Gothic 
with the lightness and beauty of the Grecian style. 
Masterpieces of Grecian sculpture adorned every nook, 
step, and landing-place, — while the magnificent pleas- 
ure-garden, with all its fountains, cascades, lakes, 
temples, shaded walks, islands and obelisks, extended 
down the mountain slope. It was some time before 
they were convinced that it was not all a dream. 



164 TALES FROM THE GERMAN. 

The damsels embraced their kind foster-mother, 
while tears of affection and gratitude eloquently spoke 
their thanks. 'Enough,' said Hiorba, withdrawing 
herself from their embraces ; ' you know not, as yet, 
whether I deserve your thanks. That will be discov- 
ered hereafter, when the roses and thorns of this life 
shall have been weighed and balanced by the immortal 
gods. I must be brief, for already do I hear the 
approaching steeds of Ryno and Idallan, and I cannot 
look upon the men who are about to pluck, and perhaps 
to crush and destroy, the two sweetest roses of my 
garden. I now take my leave. I shall always act a 
mother's part by you, — but, only three times is it 
allowed me to become visible to the wives of Ryno 
and Idallan ; at the moments of their greatest happi- 
ness, of their deepest misery, and of their untimely 
deaths. Preserve the same purity of soul which I 
have so carefully nurtured, so that in your last sad 
hour I may kiss the dews of death from your foreheads, 
and conduct your liberated spirits to the elysian fields 
of Walhalla.' 

A soft and heavenly light overspread Hiorba's coun- 
tenance, the wrinkles of age disappeared, and golden 
locks surrounded her clear forehead like a halo. 
Azure and purple wings unfolded from her shoulders, 
a robe of light enveloped her tall, majestic form, and 
on an amber cloud she floated away from the sisters, 
who watched her disappearance with speechless awe. 

The tuneful Immo now fluttered through the castle 
gate with Aliande's veil. The draw-bridge fell, and 



THE SORCERESS. 165 

the two knights, who had closely followed her, leaped 
from their horses, bounded up the steps, and threw 
themselves at the feet of the maidens ; whilst Immo, 
perched upon the highest castle tower, sweetly warbled 
forth the bridal song. 



CHAPTER VII. 



A CRYSTAL lamp, suspended from the arched ceiling 
of a lofty chamber, shed a soft moonlight over the 
silken tapestry of the bridal bed where Eyno was 
slumbering upon the bosom of the happy Aliande. 
The beauteous bride w^as watching the peaceful 
slumber of her beloved partner with mingled and 
undefinable feelings of joy and sorrow, when she 
suddenly heard a rustling of the drapery, and imme- 
diately the well known form of the sorceress stood 
before her. 

' You are happy, Aliande ? ' she asked. 

'Unspeakably!' murmured Aliande, hiding her 
blushing cheek in the bosom of her faithful foster- 
mother. 

' Does your heart suggest no wish yet ungratified ? ' 

' Only one ! ' timidly answered the lovely bride. 

' Yet one ? ' rejoined the astonished Hiorba. ' Thus 
it is with poor mortals. Upon the highest pinnacle 
of earthly happiness they are still tormented by in- 
satiable aspirations. Confide your secret wish to me, 
my daughter.' 



THE SORCERESS. 167 

• During the bridal supper, as my husband was 
giving a rapid sketch of his knightly adventures, and 
painting the charms of the various damsels he had 
saved, in glowing colors, I began to fear that I — 
perhaps soon — might be no longer the only oh ject 
of his love.' 

'•Already jealous, Aliande, on this your bridal 
night ! . . . . ' 

' Death, rather than a rival ! ' 

' What is your wish of me ? ' asked Hiorba. 

* To relieve me from the torture of uncertainty, I 
desire a faithful monitor which shall inform me 
when Eyno kneels before strange altars, that I may 
win back the idol of my heart with redoubled love, 
or, — learn to despise and scorn the inconstant.' 

' An unfriendly star rules over both you and me,' 
said Hiorba in a desponding tone. ' I am convinced 
that the fulfilment of this wish will make you most 
miserable, and yet I am constrained by a power 
greater than my own to grant it.' 

She stamped upon the floor, and immediately two 
hideous gnomes appeared with a time-piece made of 
the most costly materials, curiously wrought into the 
form of a temple of Venus. 

' Take this production of magic art,' said Hiorba, 
' but conceal it carefully from your husband, lest in 
the exasperation of conscious guilt he should destroy 
his innocent accuser. This clock will always stand 
still, this bell will always remain silent, and this 
mirror will reflect only your own features, so long 



168 TALES FROM THE GERMAN. 

as Ryno remains true to his vows ; but should he 
ever yield to the common vice of his sex, voluptuous 
melodies will issue from the temple, the index will 
indicate the time, and the crystal mirror will reflect 
the image of the favored rival.' 

Aliande was about to express her gratitude, but 
Hiorba interrupted her. ' Thank me not, — for with 
this present you receive enduring sorrow and late re- 
pentance. Soon shall I greet you a second time, but 
then it will be in tears.' She spoke, and disappeared. 



CHAPTER VIII. 



Transporting herself to the splendid seven- 
towered palace of the other sister, the sorceress 
entered Daura's chamber and awoke her from her 
sweet dreams of happiness with a kiss. Then came 
the same questions, and the same protestations oi 
unspeakable happiness ; yet the quiet and contented 
Daura, also, seemed to have one wish concealed in 
the secret recesses of her bosom. After Hiorba's long 
and tender entreaties for her confidence, she finally 
said : * through repeated and pressing inquiries of both 
Ryno and Idallan, I have learned of the exhibition ot 
savage rage by my husband in the bloody contest for 
the lost veil, w^hich R}T30 would have resigned for 
the sake of peace and friendship, refusing to fight 
until he was compelled to do so in his own defence. 
I fear that Idallan's violence, which did not spare 
even his beloved brother-in-arms, will also rend my 
heart and prepare many sad days and tearful nights 
for me. Oh that I were in possession of a charm 
which, like David's harp, would allay the demon 
15 



170 TALES FROM THE GERMAN. 

of anger ! What tlien could be wanting to my 
happiness ? ' 

' Immo ! ' cried Hiorba, with a complacent smile, 
opening the window. In came the delicate bird, 
bearing about its neck a radiant diamond chain to 
which a small ivory flute was attached. * Take this 
flute, my gentle Daura,' said the sorceress ; * pass 
this chain about your neck, and let your faithful 
mother's gift remain always upon your bosom. When 
Idallan's wild passions begin to kindle, when his 
inconsiderate bursts of anger threaten to wound the 
peace of my gentle daughter, then will the soothing 
tones of this instrument soften his rage and shed 
balm upon his mind.' 

With glad surprise Daura extended her fair hand 
for the talisman, and Hiorba vanished. 



CHAPTER IX. 



A YEAR had passed from the stream of time into 
the ocean of eternity since the marriage of the two 
sisters, when Hiorba arose out of the rocks in the oak 
forest between the two palaces. The proud edifices 
yet shone in all their original splendor, and their 
majestic walls cast long shadows over the vale below; 
but the rock upon which the sorceress was standing 
had changed its appearance. Instead of being bare, 
as formerly, it was now shaded by tall cedars, lofty 
pines, and trembling poplars, and encircled with 
blooming rose-hedges. A gilded dome, supported by 
nine Corinthian pillars of alabaster, adorned the 
summit. The sorceress inquisitively examined the 
temple, and with surprise and pleasure encountered 
her own statue crowned with fresh cypress and faded 
roses. Tears of joyful emotion filled Hiorba's eyes, 
and her first impulse was to fly immediately to her 
foster-daughters, that she might, invisible to them, 
impress a kiss of gratitude upon their unconscious 
foreheads ; but while hesitating which of the happy 
brides she should first visit, she discerned two female 



172 TALES FROM THE GERMAN. 

forms approaching from opposite directions. Discov- 
ering that they were her two daughters, she wrapped 
herself in impenetrable clouds, that she might be a 
secret witness of their interview. Their appearance 
gave her no pleasure. Their pale cheeks were not 
lighted by the sun of matrimonial peace, — their 
lingering steps and downcast eyes spoke not of hap- 
piness, — and with fear and sorrow Hiorba leaned 
against the altar which supported her statue. At 
length the sisters reached the place and rushed 
sobbing into each other's arms. 

' My sufferings have reached their utmost limit I ' 
exclaimed Aliande. 

* My last hope is annihilated ! ' sighed Daura. 

' How ineffably miserable,' said Aliande, ' has our 
good mother's last gift made me ! With almost 
every change of the moon does the warning voice 
of my magic clock rend my poor betrayed heart. 
My fatal mirror is constantly reflecting new faces 
which seldom indicate delicate feminine charms, 
never mental elevation. All my tears have hitherto 
been able to obtain but empty promises of amend- 
ment from the faithless one ; and my just reproaches 
only exasperate him. To-day I see the hated features 
of my last waiting maid, the light and impudent 
Rosa ! No, I will bear these mortifications, these 
repeated insults, no longer ! ' 

' Ah, how much more miserable am I, good sister ! ' 
sobbed Daura. ' It was but the intoxication of the 
senses which led Idallan to my arms ; and in addition 



THE SORCERESS. 173 

to my other sorrows I now feel that he has never, 
never loved me. The first week of our honey-moon 
had scarcely passed when he found himself annoyed 
by the gentle tones of my flute, which, against his 
will, moderated the severity of his fierce disposition. 
In a confiding moment, after he had successfully 
feigned the tenderest afifection, he succeeded in draw- 
ing from me the secret of the maternal gift. With 
pleasant jests and agreeable trifling he unw^ound the 
chain from my neck ; but no sooner was the delicate 
instrument in his hands, than his brow became 
clouded, his eyes flashed with an unnatural fire, and 
with a voice of thunder he denounced me as a vile 
sorceress who had disgraced his knightly bed. Then 
with furious rage he dashed the flute to the earth. 
Yet once more were heard its soft and tranquilizing 
tones. Too late I Idallan's foot was already raised, 
and trampling it in his anger, he annihilated its sweet 
melody forever. What, what have I not suffered 
since that unhappy hour ! . . . . ' 

' His heart is depraved — forget him ! ' cried Hior- 
ba, stepping visibly between the sisters, who threw 
themselves at her feet in glad surprise. 

' You both decided too rashly ! ' continued the 
weeping foster-mother. ' I warned you in vain. In 
vain did I entreat permission to prove your lovers. 
The evil is done, — and requires help, not reproaches. 
Your case, Aliande, may possibly be remedied ; yours, 
poor Daura — never! That you may not doubt the 
15^ 



174 TALES FROM THE GERMAN. 

truth of my words, I will now commence the trial of 
both husbands, and wo to him who shall prove base ! ' 
She concluded with a voice of thunder, and disap- 
peared. The unhappy sisters silently embraced each 
other, and then slowly returned to their splendid 
prisons. 



-CHAPTER X. 



Idallan was restlessly tossing upon his solitary 
bed on the first anniversary of his marriage night, 
whilst the repudiated and suffering Daura rested in a 
distant chamber, steeping her pillow with her tears. 

Idallan's heart was radically bad, as might be 
inferred from his conduct in the contest for the veil. 
Savage and boisterous passions tarnished the splendor 
of the many knightly virtues which adorned his na- 
ture ; and his real character appeared, when fortune, 
from her cornucopia, suddenly poured the full stream 
of love, wealth and splendor upon him. This unex- 
pected and overabundant fulfilment of all his wildest 
hopes, gave the finishing touch to his temperament. 
The beauteous woman, whom unreflecting love had 
conducted to his arms, he valued merely as the slave 
of his rough and savage will. The princely treasures 
which Hiorba's generosity had heaped in his coffers, 
had only excited his thirst for gold. Hundreds of 
families who had sought the protection of his castle, 
and converted the surrounding forest into fruitful 
fields, were happy to be considered his subjects, and 



176 TALES FROM THE GERMAN. 

thus ministered to his love of power and dominion. 
Schemes of ambition disturbed his brain. He already 
in imagination saw himself a prince, perhaps of the 
whole earth, with Ryno his vassal, and an emperor's 
daughter for his wife ; but he looked upon his gentle 
and faithful Daura as the greatest obstacle in the 
way of his success. His undisguised scorn and con- 
tempt had taught her to weep the rash choice made 
during the brief intoxication of love. There lay 
Idallan, disturbed by dreams which naturally took 
the tone of his daily thoughts and the color of the 
black soul whence they emanated. A glimmering 
light suddenly disturbed his uneasy sleep. Idallan 
leaped wildly from his bed, and before him stood the 
monster Easalkol, surrounded by a pale sulphurous 
light, and horribly disfigured by the wound w^hich 
Ryno gave him in the oak forest. 

' Your first matrimonial year is ended I ' said the 
fearful phantom in a sepulchral tone, * and thank the 
Gods ! you are unhappy. Your great soul must feel 
the pressure of the chains which bind you forever to 
a lowly bride. Daura suffices not for a man of noble 
ambition, and fate has destined you for greater things. 
Three crowns are waiting to grace your brow, when 
you shall have rendered yourself worthy of them.' 

* Messenger of Heaven ! ' cried Idallan in ecstasies. 

' You must know,' continued the spectre, * that 
since the day when you and Ryno attacked me with 
such inconsiderate zeal, I have been condemned 
through Hiorba's cruelty, to wander about among the 



THE SORCERESS. 177 

subterranean caves of this mountain, until some firm 
and courageous adventurer deliver me from the power 
of that ugly witch. The brave man who shall accom- 
plish this, I will raise to the first throne in the w^orld, 
give him the daughter of the most powerful ruler for 
a wife, and lay my inexhaustible treasures open to 
him.' 

' that it may be my destiny to end your sorrows, 
wise magician ! ' said Idallan, sighing. 

' You alone can do it, brave and noble knight,' 
answered Rasalkol. * You alone have the means in 
your hands, to destroy Hiorba, deliver me, and pro- 
cure unspeakable happiness for yourself ; but he who 
would serve Rasalkol must not fear to shed blood I ' 

' Give me but wealth and power, and I will slay 
millions for you.' 

' Take this withered twig,' said the phantom, hand- 
ing him a wand. ' Bear it to the chamber w^here 
Daura sleeps, strike your dagger to her heart in such 
a manner that the warm blood shall sprinkle the 
wand. The twig will acquire new life ; leaves, buds 
and flowers will instantly put forth, it will take root 
in the earth and bear a magnificent fruit, containing 
within itself the seeds of death. Divide the fruit and 
send it in the name of Daura to Ryno and Aliande. 
As soon as you hear that they are dead, bring their 
bodies here and lay them by the corpse of your wife. 
Then tear out their hearts and burn them with the 
wood of the tree. When the fire shall have destroy- 



17S TALES FROM THE GER3IAN. 

ed the last fibre, Hiorbl will expire with dreadful 
torments. I shall then be free and eternally grateful.' 

' I am yours ! ' cried Idallan, cautiously proceeding 
to the sleeping chamber of the unhappy Daura, w4th 
the magic wand in one hand and his dagger in the 
other. A mysterious light preceded the monster's 
steps. Softly opening the door, the angelic form lay 
before him, wTapped in peaceful slumber. The 
sweet smile of innocence played upon her pale lips. 
In a tone of melancholy tenderness which would have 
softened a tiger, she exclaimed in her sleep, ' lovest 
thou me no longer, Idallan ? ' Yet did Idallan, with 
a malicious scowl, raise his arm to strike. At that 
instant a flash of lightning hurled the dagger from his 
hand, and, instead of Rasalkol, the sorceress Hiorba 
stood before him. Her piercing glance seemed 
almost annihilating, and the trembling culprit cast 
his eyes upon the earth, as if imploring it to open 
and swallow him. 

' Daughter, your tender husband would become 
your murderer ! ' said Hiorba. ' Thus is your hasty 
choice rewarded.' Then turning to Idallan : ' the 
soul's deepest grief, the eternal loss of her heart's 
peace, punishes your unhappy wife for her disregard 
of the maternal advice ; but what can be a sufficient 
punishment for you ? ' 

Idallan was silent. 

' Your obdurate heart was steeled against your 
wife, your faithful brother-in-arms, and against me, 



THE SORCERESS. 179 

to whose kindness you were indebted for the founda- 
tion of your fortunes. Ambition and shameful avarice 
have incited you to the blackest crimes ! Be your 
punishment proportioned to your deeds ! Therefore 
up, demons ! drag this condemned one to Hecla's 
ever flaming gulf ! There let soul and body suffer 
the pain of the dreadful sulphur bath, until the mortal 
part has become changed to gold. For a thousand 
years may the sordid dross remain, until by millions 
of accidents it becomes transformed into a circle, and 
presses a crowned and joyless head. When the 
crown thus formed sparkles with gems, awaken in 
the miserable metal its gnawing consciousness, and, 
so long as the diadem endures, torture the soul with 
the perception of treasures and honors never to be 
enjoyed ! ' 

Having spoken thus, Hiorba waved her fearful 
w^and. Tw^o horrible demons appeared, and, wuth a 
laugh, w^hich extorted a howl of anguish from the 
criminal, forced him away. 



CHAPTER XL 



The inconstant Ryno had one day been belated while 
engaged in the chase, which had become his favorite 
occupation since the destruction of his matrimonial 
peace. He had pursued a wounded doe into a thicket 
out of which he was unable to find his way. The 
evening air blew chill, the stars shone faintly through 
the nebulous atmosphere, and the moonless night was 
spreading its brown mantle over the earth. A deep 
silence pervaded the forest, broken only by the hoot- 
ings of the owl, and the bowlings of the wolf. Ryno 
dismounted to grope for the devious path. He wan- 
dered on in this manner for the space of a quarter of 
an hour, leading his horse by the bridle-rein, when 
suddenly he heard a flourish of drums and trumpets. 
Looking up, he was astonished to find himself at no 
great distance from a magnificent and brilliantly illu- 
minated castle. Pleased and surprised, for in all his 
hunting excursions he had never encountered it before, 
he threw himself upon his horse and hastened toward 
its gates. Trumpets and cornets rang a merry peal, 
the drawbridge descended, the gate flew open, and he 



THE SORCERESS. 181 

soon found himself in the inner court, surrounded by 
a band of richly clad and golden locked pages. They 
seized his bridle, relieved him of his hunting-spear, 
bow and quiver, — one of them respectfully held his 
stirrup, while another, on bended knee, bade him wel- 
come. 

' Do you know me ? ' asked Eyno with astonishment. 

' Who does not know the knightly Ryno, so renowned 
for his personal beauty, and indomitable courage ! ' 
humbly answered the courtly page. ' Will you please 
to follow me to the banqueting hall ? You are 
expected there with affectionate impatience by count 
Arno, the lord of the castle, and Rosamunda his 
charming daughter.' 

Readily yielding to this welcome invitation, he left 
his horse to the attendants, and followed the smooth- 
tongued flatterer into the castle. A marble vestibule, 
supported by a colon ade of porphyry, led him to a 
broad alabaster stair-case, which was surmounted by 
a gilded and richly ornamented balustrade. Twelve 
servants in dresses of white silk, embroidered with 
gold, preceded him with torches to light his steps. 
The folding doors of the banqueting room flew open. 
A richly covered table, glittering with golden vessels 
and surrounded by knights and ladies, stood in the 
middle of the hall, and a splendid chandelier poured 
a flood of light from above. Uncertain whether he 
could trust his senses, Ryno entered, and the most 
delightful music from the balcony of the hall greeted 
16 



182 TALES FROM THE GERMAN. 

his arrival. The knights and dames rose respectfully 
from their seats, while a venerable old man in a 
knightly costume, with a delicate female whose beauty 
was too dazzling for mortal pen to describe, advanced 
to meet him. Touching a full goblet Avith her rosy 
lips, the female thus addressed him : * With this cup, 
Rosamunda, the daughter of the house, greets the 
brave Ryno, in the name of the lord of the castle.' 

Already intoxicated by what he saw, R3'no drained 
the golden cup, impressed a glowing kiss upon Rosa- 
munda's delicate fingers, shook the proffered hand of 
the old knight, who led him to the upper end of the 
table and seated him by Rosamunda's side. Familiar 
conversation, jests and laughter, the delightful music, 
the exhilarating cup, and, more than all these, the 
proximity of the blooming maiden, so warmed his 
blood and confused his mind, that the question never 
occurred to him how the castle came to be there, and 
its inhabitants to know him. He soon became engaged 
in a tender conversation with Rosamunda, and but too 
soon did they comprehend each other's glances. The 
table was now cleared, and the dance began. Drunk 
with pleasure, Ryno floated through the assembly with 
Rosamunda, pressing her divine form to his beating 
heart, and amid the tumult and giddiness of the waltz 
robbing her of a first kiss, which was warmly returned. 
When the dance was ended, the company sought the 
refreshing coolness of the gardens. The lovers soon 
found themselves in a solitary grotto, w^here, sunk in 



THE SORCERESS. 183 

Eyno's embrace, Rosamunda murmured that she 
would be his forever, and that she doubted not of her 
father's consent to their union. 

This brought the inconstant Ryno to his senses. 
With much embarrassment he stammered : 

' By my knightly oath and duty, I love you beyond 
measure, charming girl, but I cannot become your 
husband, for — I am already another's.' 

Tears flowed in torrents from Rosamunda's eyes, 
upon this declaration. With the most violent sorrow 
she reproached him for having stormed her heart and 
destroyed its peace, while bound by earlier ties. She 
declared that she could not live without him, and at 
last implored him to dissolve his first marriage, that 
he might become her's alone. 

Ryno anxiously endeavored to effect a retreat. 
*Aliande is my lawful wife,' said he, in a tone of 
decision : ' and never, never will I repudiate her.' 

New reproaches, new tears, and new solicitations 
followed. Ardent kisses burned upon his lips, the 
softest arms twined about his neck, and the most 
voluptuous bosom beat against his throbbing heart. 
He was almost subdued ; but he summoned resolution 
and, gently repulsing her, said : ' Leave me, charming 
maiden, — my integrity must soon wither under your 
warm embrace, and with a consciousness of my base- 
ness, I should then stand before you as a faithless 
husband, a seducer of innocence, and a dishonored 
knight. Pardon my frankness. Your personal charms 
and yielding disposition captivate my senses, which 



184 TALES FROM THE GERMAN. 

have too often led me astray. You desire marriage. 
That must not, cannot be ! I am weak and giddy ; 
but no severity of torment shall make me a faithless 
villain ! My wife is good ; I am indebted to her for 
all my earthly prosperity and happiness. She has 
already suffered too much through my inconstancy, — 
and rather should this hand wither than I would repu- 
diate Aliande for the purpose of pledging it to another ; 
even were that other the divine Rosamunda.' 

Once more she threw her arms around him in a 
last effort to subdue his heart ; — and while he was ' 
vainly striving to escape from her embrace, the grotto 
was suddenly illuminated by torches, and the lord of 
the castle stood before him surrounded by knights and 
servants, and foaming with rage. 

' What do I see ! ' thundered he : ' What shame 
and disgrace are visited upon my gray hairs ! Rosa- 
munda in this solitary grotto under the mantle of night, 
in the arms of a youthful stranger ! My house is for- 
ever degraded and my lineage dishonored ! ' 

' Your daughter is innocent and inviolate,' answered 
Ryno ; ' and her lips will inform you, that no unworthy 
knight now stands before you.' 

' You are in error, my good father,' cried Rosamun- 
da, embracing his knees with anguish ; ' Ryno is 
already married I ' 

' Married ! ' growled the old man, repulsing his 
daughter with a violence that caused her to sink to the 
earth in a swoon : ' Married ! Then is my daughter's 
dishonor beyond remedy ! That word decides your fate, 



THE SORCERESS. 185 

Ryno ! and you shall feel how the abuser of the laws of 
hospitality is punished in Arno's castle. Seize him, 
slaves ! bind the wretch in fetters !' 

Eyno's hand rushed to his side, but having thrown 
off his sword for the dance, he found no weapon there. 
He struggled manfully against the rabble host however, 
until he was finally overcome, cast upon the ground, 
bound, and thrown into a deep dungeon beneath the 
castle. 

He lay upon mouldering straw, confined with 
clanking chains which were made fast to the wall. A 
dim lamp lighted the place clearly enough to show all 
its horrors. ' This is undeserved ! ' cried Ryno, as his 
eye wandered about his new residence and finally 
rested upon the heavy iron door. ' How many times 
have heavenly enjoyments rewarded my faithlessness 
to my Aliande ; and now that I, for the first time, 
have conducted myself as became a virtuous knight, I 
sigh in these chains. If dame fortune will persist in 
such blindness and stupidity, I shall take care how I 
trust her hereafter ! ' 

The prisoner had lost himself in sad rumination, the 
name of Aliande now and then escaping from his 
laboring bosom with many a sigh. At length a lively 
contention arose outside his prison door. A female 
voice was heard in earnest solicitation, and a manly 
one opposing ; finally he heard the clinking of gold, 
and the bolts were withdrawn. 

In the most seductive night dress, with streaming 
hair, tearful eyes and pale cheeks, which increased 
16^ 



186 TALES FROM THE GERMAN. 

her beauty a thousand fold, Eosamunda tottered into 
the prison. With a trembling and mournful voice she 
said to him, ' you have rejected me when you were 
yet free to choose ; but I come not now to speak of 
myself, of my love, or of the grief inflicted by your 
rejection. Your welfare alone has induced me to seek 
you once more. Your life, which is dearer to me than 
my own, — dearer even than my eternal happiness, — 
stands upon a cast.' 

' I am sorry that such a momentary hallucination 
should be followed by such serious consequences,' said 
Eyno. 

' The lioness robbed of her young, is a lamb in 
comparison with my father when the honor of his 
family is concerned. You have only the cruel choice 
between my hand and a miserable death.' 

' That is a hard alternative ! ' said Ryno Avith a 
shudder. 

' Reflect that you are forever lost to Aliande. If 
your wife loves like Rosamunda, she would rather yield 
you to another's arms than deliver you up to a horrible 
death.' 

' No artful sophistry, or seductive blandishments, can 
change my resolution. Your father must cite me 
before a court of honor, if he be an honorable knight. 
There will I answer his charge, and give him all the 
satisfaction he has a right to claim. If he do not that, 
if he be determined to destroy a chained and defence- 
less man in a secret dungeon, he is a despicable as- 
sassin.' 



THE SORCERESS. 187 

* Ryno ! ' cried Rosamunda, again clasping him 
with wild self-abandonment. Gently releasing him- 
self from her embrace he bore her as far as his 
chains would permit, and called the sentinels. Upon 
their entrance he committed the weeping maiden to 
their care and commanded them to conduct her to her 
father. 

' A night of torment ! ' sighed Ryno, throwing him- 
self back upon his straw : ' but I have one consolation 
amid all my sorrows. By my death I shall seal that 
fidelity which I have heretofore but ill kept, and 
expiate the tears which my inconstancy has cost 
Aliande, — thus becoming purified and prepared for 
the joys of Walhalla. The gods bless and protect my 
wife and children ! ' 

Again were the bolts withdrawn, and, in a mourn- 
ing dress, the lord of the castle entered. 

' You may thank a feeling of compassion that I 
condescend once more to parley with you ! ' said the 
old man with a painful suppression of his rage. 

^ I desire not your compassion.' 

' You have violated the laws of hospitality and 
seduced my only child.' 

* That is not true ! ' 

' Knights and serfs were witnesses of my shame, 
which blood alone can efface. Were your previous 
marriage dissolved, however, and Rosamunda your 
wife, I might, perhaps, forgive you.' 

' That can never be.' 

* Rosamunda's person is fair, and yet fairer is her 



188 TALES FROM THE GERMAN. 

guileless heart. She is of the noblest lineage. Im- 
mense treasures lie in the caves of this castle, and 
my lands extend twenty days' journey towards the 
north. Take your life from my daughter's hand ! ' 

' Place everlasting torments in one scale, and an 
imperial crown in the other, I repudiate my wife at 
no price.' 

* Will Aliande be less inconsolable as a widow 
than divorced ? ' 

' Waste not your breath ! ' 

' By the eternal gods ! I warn you for the last time. 
These prison walls see you Eosamunda's husband, 
or echo the death-sigh forced from you by the rack ! ' 

Ryno tore one of the golden locks from his head 
and handed it to his persecutor. * If one spark of 
humanity yet slumbers in your bosom you will send 
this lock to my poor wife, with the message — That 
I die faithful to her, and that I wish her to train up 
my son as a good and virtuous knight. — Now let 
your executioners come on, I am ready.' 

' Then, by Woden I ' roared the foaming parent, 
* you never behold the rising of another sun ! ' 

He struck a bell, and twelve armed men with 
closed visors and drawn swords, slowly and silently 
entered. One of them detached Ryno's chains from 
the wall. Again the bell sounded, and at the other 
end of the prison the heavy doors of the torture 
vault flew open with a horrible clang. The cave- 
like room was hung with black and lighted with 
torches. Every instrument which the cruelty of 



THE SORCERESS. 189 

man has invented for the torment of his fellow man, 
brightly polished and arranged with frightful regu- 
larity, met the glance of the unfortunate prisoner. 
Large pincers were glowing in a chafing dish, and 
in the centre of the room stood the dreadful rack 
with its fearful and mysterious equipments. Three 
hideous rufSans, with naked arms, in blood-red caps 
and doublets, stood waiting beside it. On the right 
was an open and empty coffin. 

* For the last time, choose ! ' cried the incensed 
tyrant. 

' Death ! ' said Ryno, calmly, and sighing the name 
of Aliande, he advanced toward the rack with a firm 
step. A beam of light suddenly illuminated the 
dungeon. The torture-chamber, the guards, the rack, 
the executioners, had all vanished, — and Ryno found 
himself again in a magnificent room whose azure 
star-besprinkled dome w^as supported by rose-crowned 
pillars. With a friendly smile the sorceress Hiorba 
approached him ; and, as on the first day of his mar- 
riage, with the glow of newly awakened love, sank 
the happy Aliande upon his breast, thanking him for 
his unshaken fidelity to his early vows. 

' You have sustained the trial ! ' said Hiorba, ' and 
thereby expiated many a former folly, which Aliande 
must now forget. Love has returned, confidence is 
born anew, and I shall leave the again united pair 
with unshaken hope. The unhappy Daura will 
accompany me. Possibly she may learn forgetful- 
ness in my quiet and peaceful retreat, which she 



190 TALES FROM THE GERMAN. 

ought never to have left. Farewell, my children. 
Forget not the true watchwords of hymen — love 
AND FIDELITY 1 Ryuo, remain the same Ryno you 
w^ere in the grotto and in Arno's dungeon. Aliande, 
never forget that, not tears and reproaches, but 
kindness and affection only, can reclaim an erring 
husband.' 

She disappeared in a cloud of incense, and the 
reunited lovers sealed their mutual promise to obey 
her sage instructions, with a kiss. 

Faithfully was that promise kept. Even w^hen 
Aliande's head had become silvered with age she 
alone was the happiness of Ryno, as he was hers ; 
and it was many years before the venerable matron, 
surrounded by her grandchildren, w^as surprised by 
her friend Hiorba, who came in a robe of light to 
kiss her expiring breath from her pale lips. 



THE ANABAPTIST. 



A TALE OF THE FIRST HALF OF THE SIXTEENTH CENTURY. 



BY C. F. VAN DER VELDE. 



CHAPTER I. 



It was on a fine morning in February of the year 
1-534, that the journeyman armorer, Alf Kippenbrock, 
proceeded from Coesfeld toward the free imperial 
city of Munster. Already had he left Baumberg 
and Stestendorp behind — Saint Lambert's tower 
stretched high its gigantic head at the edge of the 
distant horizon, — and the fruitful plain, in which ven- 
erable old Munster is situated, gradually spread itself 
out before the wanderer with its other towers and 
churches peeping from the broad level, — while the 
bright silver of the distant and beautiful river Aa 
glistened in the rays of the morning sun. 

Alf stopped at a stone cross which stood by the road 
side, — and while a deeper red suffused his blooming 
cheeks, and his pious eyes sparkled with enthusiasm at 
the sight of the ancient episcopal seat, he took off his 
hat and swung it toward the city for joy. 

' God bless thee, dear native city ! ' he rapturously 

exclaimed ; ' it is long since we parted — and I now 

look in vain for my good old parents, who, seven 

years ago, accompanied me as far as this cross. 

17 



194 TALES FROM THE GERMAN. 

Nevertheless thou nppearest kind and friendly, and 
ready to offer me a hearty welcome. Ah, nothing is 
dearer to man than his native home ; thank God I 
have again found mine, and in it that true and genuine 
faith in which I hope to live, and, one day, happily 
die.' 

He then replaced his hat and walked briskly in 
the direction of St. Lambert's tower. At that moment 
the mornmg breeze brought suddenly the sound of the 
many voiced bells to the youth's ear, while an immense 
cloud of vapor rolled up in the well known region of 
St. Mauritius 's cloisters. ' Holy God ! some terrible 
misfortune has happened I ' exclaimed Alf, redoubling 
his pace. At the same time he saw an immense 
multitude of people running tovv^ard him from the city. 
The nearer they approached the more distinctly he 
discerned the motly combination of the crowd that 
came gushing forth on foot, on horseback and in car- 
riages. It had the appearance of a formal national 
migration. Judges and clergymen, patricians and 
plebeians, the old and the infirm, women and children, 
indiscriminately mingled with various kinds of prop- 
erty apparently collected in the haste incidental to a 
sudden conflagration, packed up and borne along with 
them, successively and rapidly passed the wanderer. 
The men in a state of great excitement conversing 
eagerly with each other, the women weeping, and the 
children crying, they moved on in a seemingly end- 
less procession. 

Alf, transfixed with surprise and astonishment. 



THE ANABAPTIST. 195 

and resting on his walking staff with his heavy knap- 
sack on his back, stood gazing upon the passing mul- 
titude. All had finally passed except one old burgher 
who toiled singly on after the crowd, panting for breath. 
Alf stopped him in the way and said, ' by your leave 
father, what means this general flight ? Is Munster 
beset by hostile armies ? ' 

' Alas, worse than that,' answered the graybeard, 
wiping his eyes, ' the anabaptists have become mas- 
ters of the city this fearful night, and are driving 
before them all who do not belong to their sect, sword 
in hand.' 

* God be praised ! ' cried Alf with wild enthusiasm, 
' the true faith is triumphant ! ' 

The burgher cast upon the youngster an angry and 
scornful look. ' Folly may be forgiven to rash, inex- 
perienced and imprudent youth,' said he, 'yet you 
may nevertheless be compelled to answer to the Lord 
for this horrible praise of his name.' 

He then turned his back upon the youth and strode 
on after the procession. Alf no longer felt the weight 
of his knapsack, but sprang forward toward Munster 
with joyful leaps. He soon, however, encountered 
a new mass of fugitives, among whom he could not 
easily penetrate — and the dust raised by people, 
cattle, horses and carriages, becoming insufferable, 
Alf retreated into a solitary inn by the way side, until 
the tumult had passed away. 

As he laid down his knapsack in the tap room and 



196 TALES FROM THE GERMAN. 

called for a cup of wine, the door opened and in tottered 
a pale thin man in a long black clerical robe. He was 
followed by a light dashing fellow with the counte- 
nance of a satyr, who carried his bundle for him. 

' I can go no further,' groaned the pale man, sinking 
down upon the nearest seat. 

' Now, doctor, you are for the present indeed in 
safety,' said his attendant to him, depositing the bundle 
upon the stove-bench. * Permit me to take a refreshing 
draught, and then to bid you farewell.' 

* Thou dost not wish, then, to go to the good Hes- 
senland, my son ? ' asked the doctor, sorrowfully. 

' No,' answered the youth, ^ but do not consider me 
unkind. I return to Munster. New governors will 
require new clothes, because much of the dignity of 
office consists in the dress. My needle will not be 
permitted to remain idle there, and I shall make great 
profits. Moreover the doctrine of liberty and equality 
was plain to me from the beginning ; and if the good 
people would not come so easily to blows, nothing 
could be said against it.' 

' I thought you held fast to the ancient faith,' said 
the doctor complainingly, ' since you sustained me so 
truly.' 

* No,' laughingly replied the hare-brained youth. 
' I held to you while you benefitted me ; and on that 
account I could not reconcile it to myself to desert you 
in your hour of need. Now you are in safety ; and 
I must return to the only place where fellows like 



THE ANABAPTIST. 197 

myself are held in some degree of estimation ; in any 
other I might remain all my life a wandering raga- 
muffin.' 

' One deception less,' sighed the doctor sinking into 
gloomy meditation, when the host entered with a mug 
of wine for x\lf. When he perceived the doctor the 
mug fell, and, clasping his hands over his head, he 
cried : ' Holy God ! are you also driven away, rever- 
end sir ? ' 

' The true shepherds must first be driven away,' 
said the doctor with a melancholy smile, ' when the 
wolf desires undisturbedly to break into the unfortu- 
nate fold. Nevertheless I may congratulate myself that 
I held out until the last moment, and only yielded to 
open violence.' 

' How was that possible in so short a time, doctor ? ' 
asked the host. ^ The adherents of the Augsburg con- 
fession w^ere certainly very pow^erful as yet, in the 
city, as the papists also were.' 

'The terrible Matthias,' replied the doctor, 'had 
sent circulars through the neighborhood and collected 
all the anabaptists at Munster. Consequently, all the 
low rabble, w^ho had nothing at home to lose, rushed 
into the poor city, and last night, taking possession of 
the arsenal and town house, they set lire to the clois- 
ters of Mauritius. They ran, as if possessed, howling 
through the streets with naked swords, crying, ' Ee- 
pent and be baptised ! ' and ' Depart ye Godless ! ' 
Neither condition, age, nor sex availed ; delicate 
women, the sick and dying, w^ere all mercilessly thrust 
17^ 



198 TALES FROM THE GERMAN. 

out at the gates of their native city unless they would 
profess the heretical, heathenish worship. The choice 
between death, flight, and apostacy, only remained, 
even to me ; and as I thought it better to be useful 
through the preaching of the word to honest christians 
than through martyrdom in the paws of such raging 
brutes, I shook the dust from my feet and escaped, — 
and God must judge.' 

' I am very sorry for you,' cried Alf, much agitated: 
' because you have such a venerable appearance, and 
doubtless think yourself truly faithful, though you 
wander in darkness. Nevertheless, it is a culpable 
stubbornness in you Lutherans, to struggle so violently 
against the new doctrines, which have the right and 
the holy scriptures so clearly on their side. Has not 
our Lord and Savior expressly commanded his Apos- 
tles — ' Go ye into all the w^orld and teach all people 
and baptize them ? ' So therefore, the teaching must 
precede the baptism, according to Christ's own words. 
How dare you, then, presume to baptize new born 
children who can know nothing of God ? ' 

* What, another anabaptist I ' grumbled the host, 
with a discontented glance at the speaker ; and the 
worthy doctor directed his eyes, full of heartfelt sor- 
row, upon the youth, and sighed — ' Another lamb gone 
astray from the flock, whom I cannot lead back to the 
protecting fold. This it is, that makes me sad.' 

* You have not answered my question,' said Alf, 
with the triumph of the controversialist. 

' Of what advantage is it to show the way to the 



THE ANABAPTIST. 199 

blind, who will not see it ? ' cried the doctor : ' I could 
answer you, that Christ's apostles could only baptize 
adults, because those only came over to Christianity 
at first ; but that, at a later period, the burning zeal 
of the great Augustine placed near the heart of the 
christian fathers the duty of consecrating their chil- 
dren to Christ through the holy baptism into the 
covenant, and thereby to deliver them from the original 
sin and impart to them the redemption through Christ, 
before peradventure they should be snatched away in 
their tender youth by a premature death. Would to 
God that this schism was the only one that your com- 
panions in your mistaken faith defend with such 
terrible obstinacy and fierceness. You have yet other 
dogmas which you advance, sufficient to convert our 
earth, God's beautiful temple, into a den of murderers. 
Your community of goods, your equality of rank, your 
struggle against secular authority, lead directly to 
lawless confusion, robbery, murder, and unhappy rev- 
olution.' 

'Even the best opinions may be misconstrued,' 
replied Alf, angrily. ' The gospel looks upon all men 
as equal. The distinctions made among them by 
birth, rank, and wealth, are contrary to its spirit. 
Christians who possess the doctrines of God as pre- 
cepts, and take his spirit for their guide, need no power 
that destroys religious liberty without authority. 
They are able to govern themselves by the word of 
God, and the Holy Spirit will always guide them, that 
they stumble not in the paths in which they are led 
by their faith.' 



200 TALES FROM THE GERMAN. 

' Unhappy, infatuated youth ! ' cried the doctor, with 
a majestic prophetic look and tone. ' Go now into 
the unfortunate city, and behold how the anabaptist 
spirit has conducted your companions to robbery, 
incendiarism and murder, in the smoking ruins of the 
cloister, and in the bleeding bodies which strew the 
highways I If this horrible spectacle be not enough 
to move your heart, think of the words which in this 
sad hour I address to you in the name of that God 
whom your proceedings profane. These crimes will 
be but the beginning of your afflictions. Your 
equality will yet be to you but equality of misery — 
your community of goods wiJl bring you to beggary. 
Instead of the magistracy which you now drive away, 
miscreants will rise up from the midst of you, and 
with bloody hands rend your OAvn entrails, until the 
wrath of a long suffering God finally awakes, until 
the avenger appears, and you all perish in one com- 
mon ruin.' 

* There come horsemen galloping,' cried the doctor's 
attendant, who was standing at the window with his 
cup ; * and, if I see rightly, they bear our lord bishop's 
colors. It might be well for me to go back to the city.' 

' The bishop's riders ! ' sighed the doctor. ' It often 
happens that the avenger only lingers near ; but this 
time the Lord in his anger has given him wings.' 

* The bishop's riders ! ' cried the host, anxiously : 
' May God be merciful to us. Those fellows make no 
distinctions, but shear both Lutherans and anabaptists 
over one comb.' 

Alf 's eyes flashed fire at this ; he drew from his 



THE ANABAPTIST. 201 

portmanteau a large, two edged dirk-knife, screwed it 
upon his walking stick, and placed himself in a defen- 
sive attitude. 

Meanwhile the horsemen had stalked into the inn. 

* Here is a whole band of anabaptists collected 
together,' cried the officer. ' Halters from the horses ! 
we will bind them together in couples.' 

' I am the doctor of theology, Theodore Fabricius,' 
cried the reverend gentleman, with all the dignity of 
his station ; ' driven from Munster by the anabaptists, 
and am under the special protection of his grace the 
landgrave of Hesse.' 

' Why should we trouble ourselves much about the 
heretics,' exclaimed the serjeant. ' Don't trifle and 
spend your time in unnecessary discourse ; submit 
without resistance ! ' cried another, seizing the poor 
doctor by the collar. 

Then sprang forward Alf, and struck aside the 
strong hand of the horseman. ' Back ! ' cried he, 
holding his dirk-spear before him, * I will stab the first 
who touches the old man.' 

' That is brave ! ' cried the host, exultingly ; and, 
armed with a small hatchet, he stationed himself at 
Alf's side. 

' Young man, why do you interfere ? ' cried the 
horseman, recoiling. ' Out broadswords ! ' shouted the 
officer, and the broad blades were already flashing, 
when a new trampling of horses drew all eyes to the 
window, and in an instant a fresh band of horsemen 
crowded into the room. 



202 TALES FROM THE GERMAN. 

' God be praised ! ' cried Fabricius, with folded 
hands ; ' those are the colors of my lord, the land- 
grave.' 

* What mischief are you episcopalians carrying on 
here ? ' angrily asked the captain of the new comers. 

'We surely shall not answer to a Hessian concern- 
ing that, while standing upon our lord bishop's own 
ground,' blustered the serjeant. ' With greater right 
may I ask how you could yourself venture upon our 
territory with weapons and arms, w^ithout escort ? ' 

* Madman I ' cried the captain, ' is that the way 
you speak to your allies ? We are sent by our lord 
to help yours against the rebellious anabaptists. At 
present I am commanded to the defence of the evan- 
gelical preachers, who are compelled to flee from 
Munster, and I w411 not permit you to abuse them.' 

* If you expect that I shall believe every thing you 
say upon your mere assertion,' sneeringly answered 
the bishop's serjeant-major, ' you are for once mista- 
ken. The heretic priest is my prisoner.' 

' Contemptible slave of a " priest I ' thundered the 
captain, 'when the word of a knight is doubted, he 
has no other voucher than his good sword ; ' and 
drawing forth his blade, he called to his followers, 
' strike flat, comrades.' 

As if all the furriers of Munster had collected 
together in the tavern to beat their skins, so clattered 
the Hessian blades upon the broad backs of the epis- 
copalians in mighty chorus. In a moment the room 
was cleared, and the Hessians were sitting behind 



THE ANABAPTIST. 203 

their full jugs, making themselves merry over their 
easy and bloodless victory. 

' Where do you desire to be conducted, reverend 
doctor ? ' asked the captain courteously. 

' I intend to go direct to Cassel,' answered Fabricius, 
' to give an account of my mission to the landgrave. 
If you will give me a file of horsemen as far as 
Paderborn, I shall reach my destination without diffi- 
culty.' 

' With your permission, Mr. Captain,' said the 
landlord, ' I will myself convey my confessor as far as 
Paderborn in my little wagon.' 

' It is well ! ' answered the captain, casting a glance 
upon Alf, who had unscrewed the knife from his staff 
and was preparing to proceed on his way. 

' Who art thou ? ' he asked in a severe tone. 

' An honest journeyman armorer,' answered Alf, 
boldly, ' w^ho am returning to Munster in search of 
employment.' 

' To Munster ? ' angrily repeated the captain : ' to 
that heated furnace where the frantic mob are prepar- 
ing misery for the country ? — and now, — directly ? 
Dost thou belong to them ? ' 

' Shame to him who denies his faith through fear of 
men,' cried Alf; * yes, I am an anabaptist.' 

* Munster needs no armorer now,' said the captain, 
with decision ; ' sharp weapons are not good for chil- 
dren and drunken men : they injure themselves and 
others with them. Thou goest with us back to the 
head quarters at Walbeck.' 



204 TALES FROM THE GERMAN. 

' Never ! ' exclaimed Alf, in wrath, drawing his 
knife. 

'Pardon his imprudence,' entreated Fabricius, step- 
ping between them. ' His spirit is diseased and 
heavily weighed down ; but his heart is better than 
his mistaken faith. He has hazarded his life in my 
defence against the episcopalians, regardless of the 
difference of our creeds. Let him go in freedom.' 

' You know not what you ask, doctor,' said the 
captain, displeased. ' Ought I to permit the rebels 
to strengthen themselves by the acquisition of such a 
stout fellow ? ' 

' There are already, alas ! a plenty of wicked men,' 
said Fabricius, ' ferociously raging in the unhappy 
city. It seems to me it is to be wished, that there 
should be some good souls among them, who might 
mitigate many an evil, and prevent many a crime. 
The whole conduct of this youth convinces me, that 
his erroneous opinions will not hold out against the 
misdeeds he will witness, and against the voice of 
truth in his own heart ; and then may even he become 
a fit instrument in God's cause. Let him go, by my 
desire.' 

* Go then,' impatiently cried the captain, returning 
to the drinking table. 

* God reward thee,' said Alf, Avith deep feeling, and 
pressing the hand of Fabricius to his bosom ; * thou 
hast saved me from murder.' 

' The Lord enlighten thee ! ' said Fabricius, laying 



THE ANABAPTIST. 205 

his hands upon the youth's head for a farewell blessing, 
* so that we may one day joyfully meet again.' 

' You say that with great confidence, sir,' cried 
Alf, perplexedly, ' as if the error were certainly upon 
mcr side. I firmly believe it to be upon yours. For 
God's sake, then, which of us two is right in these 
dreadful contentions ? ' 

* If that doubt itself do not already tell thee, my 
son,' said Fabricius, in a friendly manner, ' only sub- 
mit the new belief, to the touchstone of thy reason 
and thy honest heart — bring it to the test of the holy 
scriptures, — seek the truth with diligence and thou 
shaltfind it.' 

' No, no ! ' cried Alf, in the wild conflict of his soul. 
' The holy spirit, that spoke by our prophets, cannot 
err. Satan himself must have whispered the wicked 
doubt to me : I reject and cast it from me, as, accord- 
ing to God's commandment, I ought the eye that 
ofl^ends me. I am, here, yet within the confines of 
anti-christ, and his power darkens my vision. Where- 
fore, forward to the realm of light ! Up, toward the 
holy Zion ! ' 

As if beside himself, the enthusiast strode out of 
the house, the worthy Fabricius with saddened looks, 
watching his retreating form. 

Alf was already advancing toward the city with 

vigorous strides, when he heard some one calling 

behind, and the nimble tailor came running after him. 

' Take me with you, compatriot,' begged he : ' I have 

18 



206 TALES FROM THE GERMAN. 

taken my leave of the worthy doctor, and would wil- 
lingly return to the city in good company.' 

* Where were you during the first part of the fight ? ' 
asked Alf of him. 

' Behind the stove, dear compatriot,' laughingly 
confessed the tailor ; ' and when it began between the 
Hessians and the episcopalians, I crawled under the 
stove, lest perhaps both parties might take me for an 
enemy, and I thus receive a double portion of blows.' 

' For shame,' said Alf, scornfully. 

'What is there in that to be ashamed of?' babbled 
the tailor. * Let each honor his profession. An ar- 
morer, with legs and arms to his body, as you have, 
by the grace of God, must hammer upon his enemies 
as he would upon old iron — it is his duty; but a 
poor little tailor, like me, has the privilege of running 
away from such affairs of honor ; and I should little 
grace my fraternity by exhibiting an ill-timed valor 
in old quarrels.' 

' Under such circumstances,' said Alf, ' I cannot 
understand how your cowardice can suffer you to 
return to Munster, which just now is very tempest- 
uous and clanging with arms.' 

* Why, not a hair of my head can be injured!' 
triumphantly answered the tailor. ' I am the old 
boon companion of the second of the prophets who 
are now very powerful in the government of the city, 
and they cannot fail me. When once the old order 
of affairs shall be wholly overturned, I may be clothed 



THE ANABAPTIST. 207 

with a station of high honor in the new government. 
For a generalship in the field my stars have certainly 
not directly designed me ; but a chancellorship or 
treasurership I may fill as well as another.' 

' For that must God in his anger have created you,' 
cried Alf, with indignant laughter. 

' Because I am a tailor ? ' asked the chancellor-in- 
expectancy, angrily. ' How blind does the pride of 
your hands make you, friend armorer! Does every 
thing depend upon strong bones in this world ? 
What was Johannes Bockhold of Leyden, our great 
prophet, more than a tailor? What does he now 
appear, and to what will he not hereafter attain ! 
The days and nights have not yet all passed. He 
has a head for twenty ; and when we loitered about 
together as comedians, while business in our line 
was dull, then did he play the parts of emperors and 
kings, and played and ranted in such a manner as to 
compel respect from all. Give him the world and 
he will govern it in fine style.' 

' A man who plays the buffoon for bread, selected 
to carry on the work of the spirit in my native city ! ' 
sighed Alf, losing himself in sad reflections until 
they arrived at the closed gates. 

Here all was crowded with the busy activity of 
the burghers. The city walls were repaired and 
raised, — the ditches were deepened and furnished 
with palisades, — new bulwarks and towers arose on 
high, — hammer and trowel, shovel and pickaxe, were 
in constant motion, — and the dirt carts creaked 
incessantly. Aged and distinguished men worked 



208 TALES FROM THE GERMAN. 

unweariedly, like day-laborers ; women and children 
assisted ; and the pleasure and satisfaction, with 
which every thing was accomplished, rendered it very 
apparent that the most ardent enthusiasm was the 
soul of this body. 

' Do you not perceive,' cried the tailor, gaily slap- 
ping Alf's shoulder, Uhat the bishop will be compelled 
to break many a tooth upon our walls before he will 
be able to eat us up ? ' 

' What does that denote ? ' asked Alf, disregarding 
the boast, and pointing to two large stone slabs 
covered with letters which were hanging upon the 
gates. 

' Those are the commands of our second Moses, of 
our great Matthias,' replied the tailor, reverently. 
'He has caused them to be cut in stone and to be hung 
thus on all the gates of the city, to keep the people 
in the fear of God, so that every man may conduct 
according to them.' 

At that moment a confused drumming alarm rattled 
in the city, and a desolate thrilling cry of the raging 
populace answered the warlike call ; an icy chill 
diffused itself through every member of Alf 's body, 
as it seemed to him as if the people were roaring 
for blood. 

' The prophets are calling the people together,' 
said the tailor, dragging Alf forward. ' Come, we 
must hear what they have to say to us ; we belong to 
the mass, and can give our opinions upon public 
affairs whenever it may seem good to us.' 

They hastened toward the market, where the 



THE ANABAPTIST. 209 

human tide, as if agitated by the wildest storms, 
waved to and fro, thundering and roaring. 

The thickest crowd was about St. Lambert's 
church, and the mass, armed with clubs and spears 
and muskets, seemed here to form a large circle, 
from the centre of which a single commanding voice 
occasionally rose above the general bustle of the 
crowd. 

Alf swung himself up to the corner stone of a 
house near the market, held fast to the iron sup- 
porters of a pitch-pan, and looked towards the centre 
of the circle. 

' What do you see,' cried the tailor to him above. 

' A stout man,' answered Alf, ' clad in a coarse 
woolen capote. I can scarcely see his face through 
his disheveled hair and bushy beard. He poises a 
stout spear over a vigorous burgher who is kneeling 
before him.' 

' That is our great Matthias,' exclaimed the tailor. 

A fresh multitude at that instant came up and 
pulled Alf down from his corner stone. The tailor 
held on with all his might to prevent being borne 
away by the crowd, and grumbled, ' it is very wrong 
that one should be hindered by the crowd from seeing 
what the people do in their sovereign judicial ca- 
pacity.' 

' Thank God ! I find one acquaintance here at 
least !' exclaimed a pale girl, tremblingly seizing the 
hand of the tailor. ' If you have the heart of a man, 
18^ 



210 TALES FROM THE GERMAN. 

my good fellow, help us out of this great difficulty. 
You have much influence with Johannes Bockhold, 
the prophet ; beg of him, therefore, mercy for my 
poor uncle I ' 

' For your uncle, mademoiselle Clara ? ' inquired 
he with astonishment. ' What has happened to the 
worthy master Trutlinger ? ' 

' Trutlinger, Hubert Trutlinger, the armorer ? ' 
exclaimed Alf, in great agitation ; ' my good old 
master ? What has happened to him ? ' 

' Alas, they have dragged him before the tribunal 
of the people I ' complained the weeping girl ; ' he is 
said to have spoken evil of the prophets.' 

' That is a bad case,' said the tailor, ' and in such 
an unpleasant predicament there is not much to be 
hoped from any interference.' 

' But you must attempt that possibility,' said Alf, 
' of serving the upright man and this loving child.' 

There fell a shot in the midst of the circle, which 
was directly followed by a horrible cry from the 
thousand voiced multitude. ' God ! what was that ? ' 
exclaimed the girl, aghast. * I fear my intercession 
comes too late,' said the tailor dubiously. At that 
moment the circle opened and the doomed one \vas 
brought forth, borne in mournful silence upon the 
halberds of several burghers. The blood was stream- 
ing from a spear wound in his side, and from a 
reeking shot wound in his breast ; yet the unhappy 
man was not dead, but breathed, although with in- 



THE ANABAPTIST. 211 

finite pain, and had his eyes directed imploringly 
toward heaven. ' Not even to be able to die,' groaned 
he. ' Thou punishest heavily my foolishness, O God ! ' 

* Be satisfied unhappy man,' exclaimed the terrible 
prophet, who had followed him. * Heaven has re- 
vealed to me that the hour of thy death has not yet 
come. God has determined to show thee mercy. 
Convey him to his dwelling,' said he to the bearers, 
' so that he may be taken care of by his own family. 
The Lord desires not the death of sinners, but that 
they should be converted and live.' 

' Bear me forward quickly,' begged the dying man 
to those who were carrying him. ' These bible- 
sayings cut me to the heart, — for, out of his mouth, 
they sound to me like a blaspheming of God.' 

They bore him toward his house. Alf tremblingly 
followed the poor Clara, whose eyes were streaming 
with countless tears, and who on the way vainly 
sought to check with her handkerchief the flow of 
blood from the gushing wounds. 

At the door of Trutlinger's house the sad train 
was received by a beauteous maiden. Around her 
noble, blooming face, floated in profusion the rich 
curls of her dark locks. The fire of her black eyes, 
increased by enthusiasm, pierced deep into the heart. 
Her high forehead, her finely arched nose, her slender 
and majestic figure, imparted to her whole appearance 
something queenlike, which even her burgher garb, 
(in consequence of the strictness of the new belief 
deprived of every ornament) could not counteract. 
When she perceived the situation of her unhappy 



212 TALES FROM THE GERMAN. 

uncle, she wrung her white hands, tears burst from 
her eyes, which in the bitterness of her grief were 
raised to heaven, and embellished by her sorrow she 
stood, a weeping Madonna. The meek, unassuming 
Clara became wholly eclipsed by her noble figure, 
at which Alf stood gazing with true devotion. 'For 
God's sake, what has happened to you, dear uncle ? ' 
cried she, accompanying the bearers, who conveyed 
the sufferer into the nearest lower room and there 
laid him upon a bed. 

' He has practised continual mocking of the holy 
mission of our prophets,' answered one of the bearers, 
' and the prophet Matthias has judged him before the 
congregation.' 

' God be merciful to his poor soul ! ' murmured the 
departing populace, and Alf was left alone with the 
maidens and the dying man. 

' How came your senses so entirely to desert you, 
my poor uncle, as to permit you to fall into so heavy 
a sin ? ' moaned the beauteous girl, who was bandag- 
ing his wounds with the quiet sorrowful Clara. 

' Be silent, simpleton ! ' angrily replied the old 
man with his remaining strength. ' My senses have 
indeed deserted me ; but only with the lying spirit of 
the wicked wretches whom in my madness I held for 
God's prophets. With my gushing blood departs the 
delusion which perhaps has cost me my salvation, 
and I perceive with horror that my poor native city, 
led astray by crafty imposters, is on the way to ruin 
for time and eternity.' 

' Gracious heavens ! he already repeats his of- 



THE ANABAPTIST. 213 

fences,' sobbed the gentle maiden. ' We are not 
alone, uncle,' Clara reminded him in a voice of gentle 
entreaty. 

Trutlinger, raising his weary eyes toward the 
youth, remained fixedly considering him for a long 
time ; and, as if he finally recollected him, a smile 
dawned upon his face, which his sufferings chased 
away. ' If I see rightly,' said he faintly, ' that is a 
good old acquaintance, before whom no precaution or 
constraint is necessary. Do I mistake, comrade ? 
Are you not my former faithful apprentice, Alf Kip- 
penbrock ? ' 

' I am the same, my worthy master,' said Alf, 
approaching and taking his hand, while his tears 
flowed more mildly. 

* This is the finger of God ! ' exclaimed Trutlinger, 
and a feeble light relumed his eyes. ' These girls 
are orphans — their last protector goes to the grave 
in me. The thought that I must leave their inex- 
perienced youth behind me without protection in this 
den of murderers, renders my death most afflicting. 
You were always a good and capable man, Kippen- 
brock. Promise, then, to your dying master, with 
the hand and word of a man, that you will shelter 
and protect these poor children according to the best 
of your ability.' 

Alf cast a friendly glance upon the proteges con- 
fided to him. The dark-haired young maiden 
gleamed upon him with a burning glance, while 
Clara timidly cast her blue eyes upon the ground. 



214 TALES FROM THE GERMAN. 

The heart of the youth swelled. He quickly pressed 
Trutlmg-er's cold hand and cried, * I promise it.' 

* God reward thee I' faintly uttered the hoary man, 
his head sank back and his lacerated breast labored 
with the death-struggle. Yet once more he suddenly 
opened his eyes. All radiant were they raised 
toward heaven. ' Yes,' cried he aloud and joyfully, 
— ' yes, thou hast forgiven the son of earth his 
errors! I see thy brightness I ' — and he was no 
more. 

'Lord, deal not with him in judgment I' prayed 
the enthusiastic young woman, with pious zeal. 

* My second father ! ' cried Clara, mildly weeping, 
and, bending down over the dead body, she softly 
kissed his pale lips. 

* No,' cried Alf, with angry grief, ' this sentence 
was not pronounced and executed in accordance with 
thy will, Spirit of Mercy I ' 



CHAPTER II. 



The next morning Alf stepped into the apartment 
of his kinsman, Gerhard Kippenbrock, to salute him. 
The good old man, a worthy butcher by calling, had 
by the overthrow of all established customs been 
made second burgomaster of the imperial free city of 
Munster, without clearly knowing how that precise 
result had been attained. He advanced to meet the 
new comer, uncommonly magnificent in his black of- 
ficial dress, with the lace collar and golden chain of 
honor, and introduced him to a large, raw-boned, 
meagre man, in a similar dress, who sat at the table 
staring on vacancy with half-extinguished eyes, in 
which the flashes of a quiet insanity were occasionally 
playing. 

* Thou hast here the best opportunity to recommend 
thyself to the favor of our first burgomaster, of brother 
Bernd Knipperdolling,' said the elder Kippenbrock 
to the youth. Alf bowed himself low before the 
singular man, whose appearance affected him disa- 
greeably, and stammered some expressions of respect. 

Knipperdolling cast upon him a searching glance, 



216 TALES FROM THE GERMAN. 

and then said in a hollow and monotonous voice, * a 
well formed vessel for the spirit ! — thy kinsman, my 
brother ? He may become a bailiff of the city of 
Zion.' 

* God preserve me, revered sir burgomaster I ' pro- 
tested Alf. ' I by no means understand all that the 
office requires, and should disgrace my undeserved 
promotion.' 

* Whoever hath the spirit,' said Knipperdolling, 
decisively, ' needs no earthly wisdom.' 

' I have taken upon myself a holy duty I ' exclaimed 
the youth with anxiety, shuddering at the burthen 
of the proffered dignity. ' I have promised to the 
unfortunate Trutlinger on his death-bed, to take upon 
myself the care of his two nieces, whom he left unpro- 
tected. I shall have plenty to do, — for six journeymen 
are employed in the workshop of the orphans, and 
much work is ordered.' 

' Let him have his will,' entreated the elder Kippen- 
brock of his colleague. ' I have known him from his 
youth up ; his head is not equal to the governing of 
lands and people, but he is a capable armorer, whom 
we much need in these times when our all rests 
upon the points of our swords.' 

^ Have you already been baptised ? ' asked Knip- 
perdolling. 

* Your faith became mine at Amsterdam,' answered 
Alf, but I have postponed being baptised until I could 
receive that holy ordinance here, in my native city.' 

* Our orator, brother Rothman, will prepare you 
for it,' said Knipperdolling. 



THE ANABAPTIST. 217 

' I hope this brother has already laid a good ground,' 
said a man in a black ministerial robe, with a cun- 
ning, bold, peaked face. ' I shall hold a great baptiz- 
ing one of these days at the river Aa, and shall ex- 
pect to see the catechumen previously at my house.' 

' We will be his witnesses on that holy occasion,' 
said Knipperdolling, w^ith a gracious nod of his head, 
' I and my colleague Kippenbrock.' 

The candidate for baptism stammered his thanks 
for the unexpected honor, when the door of the room 
Avas thrown open with violence, and a young man of 
Alf 's age strode fiercely in. His countenance might 
have been considered handsome, had it not been for 
the deathlike paleness and distortion w^hich disfigured 
it. His large and restlessly rolling eyes — his di- 
shevelled, bristling hair — his loose coarse garments, 
which scarcely covered the nakedness of his body — 
all these gave to his figure a frightful appearance ; 
and Alf was thereby reminded, with a secret shudder, 
of the altar-piece of a church, where he had seen the 
adversary represented as tempting our Savior in the 
wilderness. All present rose reverently at his en- 
trance, and, with their hands crossed upon their 
breasts, bowed low before the youth. 

' Thus speaks the spirit by the mouth of your 
prophets,' cried he wdth singular gestures. ' Make 
outcry in all the streets of Zion, that every one bring 
all his w^ealth in gold, silver and jewels, and lay it at 
the feet of the great prophet, Matthias. There must 
]9 



218 TALES FROM THE GERMAN. 

no longer be rich or poor in the community which 
the Lord has chosen for himself. Let all belong 
to all!' 

* So mote it be,' cried the hearers, and a gentle 
sigh from the rich butcher accompanied the response. 

' A true christian needs no erudition,' continued 
he prophet. ' The internal word is of more value 
than the outward. All books written with the inso- 
lent wisdom of men are fruitless and unprofitable, if 
the doctrines they contain are already proved in the 
holy scriptures, — ungodly, if they are opposed to 
them. Wherefore you must bring all books, except 
the bible, out of Zion, and collect them at the market 
before St. Lambert's church, and cause them to be 
consumed by fire, a burnt offering to the Lord.' 

' So mote it be ! ' again submissively repeated all 
mouths. 

' Whoever sins against one of these commands,' 
roared the prophet, with wild flashing eyes, ' shall 
die the death ! ' 

' Amen ! ' said the trembling chorus, and the 
prophet stalked haughtily out of the door. 

' Who was that ? ' Alf timidly asked his kinsman. 
' Johannes Bockhold, our second prophet,' answered 
he, dejectedly, ' the right hand of the great Matthias.' 

' All the books ! ' sighed the orator Eothman. 

* All the gold and silver ! ' sighed the worthy 
Kippenbrock, after him, involuntarily raising his 
hand to his head, as if for the purpose of scratching 



THE ANABAPTIST. 219 

it, but recollecting in season that this movement was 
rather unseemly for a new burgomaster, he quickly- 
let it fall again. 

' The Lord wills it, and his servants must be 
obedient,' said Knipperdolling to Kippenbrock. * Let 
the commands of the prophet be proclaimed, my 
brother. I have yet much to do with recording the 
estates of the exiles, which have become forfeit to 
the community ! ' 

He departed, and Rothman followed him. ' All 
the gold and silver ! ' repeated the elder Kippenbrock 
sorrowfully, yet once more, and he went after them. 

' God forgive me if this feeling be a sin,' cried 
Alf, when he saw himself alone ; ' but these prophets 
appear horrible to me, and I shall never be able to 
reconcile my heart to them.' 



CHAPTER III. 



Some days passed away ; during which Alf, without 
troubling himself much about the disturbances of the 
city, labored unweariedly in the workshop of the 
deceased Trutlinger, which in these times gave him 
an immense deal to do. He was animated by the 
idea of working and accumulating for the beauteous 
dark-haired Eliza ; and although he could not gain 
any decided token of favor from the haughty girl, the 
friendly glances, which she now and then bestowed 
upon him, were sufficient to keep the flame of love 
always brightly burning at his heart ; and the poor 
Clara, Avhose eyes ventured towards him when she 
thought herself unobserved, became wholly over- 
looked, as usually happens to the modest violet in 
the neighborhood of the queenly rose. 

One day the wild rattling of the drums called all 
who could bear arms to the market place. Obedient 
to the call, Alf equipped himself and his journeymen 
from the military stock of his workshop, and they 
were all standing in polished casques and coats of 
mail, well armed with swords and halberds, when 
Trutlinger's two nieces entered the shop. 



THE ANABAPTIST. 221 

' You are going forth to battle, Kippenbrock ! ' said 
Eliza, pressing his hand for the first time with the 
kindest aifability, — whilst Clara remained silently 
and sadly standing at a distance. 

' And with a right good will, dear maiden,' an- 
swered Alf, tenderly, * if your kind wishes accom- 
pany the new warrior upon his first expedition.' 

' You go to the field of battle for the Word ! ' 
exclaimed Eliza with enthusiasm ; * the Holy Spirit is 
with you and you must conquer.' 

' Be careful of your life ! ' whispered the timorous 
Clara, scarcely audible, and Alf hastened forth with 
his companions. 

The place of rendezvous, before St. Lambert's 
church, was already crowded by the people of Mun- 
ster, collected in compliance with various commands 
from their prophets. Here, a great fire which was 
consuming the doomed books of the city, blazed to 
the heavens, — there, stood two of Munster's deacons 
for the reception of the jewels of the citizens; two 
female diviners, well acquainted with the jewels of 
the city, had the oversight of the business, and ac- 
cused every one who endeavored to keep back any 
thing. Many a pearl, from beauteous eyes, silently 
bedewed the costly trinkets which were compulsorily 
brought as offerings to the spirit. 

Meantime the military power of the anabaptists 
had assembled at the rendezvous, and now appeared 
Matthias in his dark hair-cloth robe. In his hand he 
19* 



222 TALES FROM THE GERMAN. 

held the spear still clotted with the unhappy Triu- 
linger's blood, and his mouth was foaming with rage. 

At his nod the armed men closed in a circle around 
him. 

' That true son of anti-christ,' roared he, ' that 
reprobate priest of Baal, who once tyrannically ruled 
over the free burghers of this cit}', the bishop, 
with his mercenary troops, comes against you. He 
has already stretched his camp all about the city ; 
and if we give him time to perfect his entrenchments, 
the cowards, who dare not meet us man to man, may 
conquer us at last through hunger, "^^^herefore thus 
speaks the spirit : ' Arise, Matthias, gird on thy sword, 
take with thee five hundred men from out the con- 
gregation, go forth and destroy the ungodly whom 
I have this day given into thy hand.' Arise, then, 
my brethren I "Whoever is truly devoted to our holy 
cause, whoever is determined never again to bend 
his neck under the iron yoke, which we have just 
thrown off, let him step forth from the congregation ; 
the Lord has chosen him for his champion, and the 
host of the enemy shall be scattered before his arm 
like chaff before the wind. Amen.' 

During this speech Alf was suffering a severe 
mental conflict. Too readily would he once have 
measured himself with the episcopalians, whom in 
his fanaticism he fiercely hated ; and nevertheless he 
had a decided aversion to the prophet under whom 
he must fight. He was finally decided by the hope 



THE ANABAPTIST. 223 

of the reception which he should meet with from 
the fair Eliza, returning home a conqueror ; and, as 
the amen of the prophet was heard, he stepped forth 
into the centre of the circle. His journeymen and all 
those who were armorers by trade followed him. 
To these were joined the other workers in iron, from 
connection in business. The butchers attached them- 
selves to the nephew of their chief; and, this example 
being actively imitated, the number of five hundred 
volunteers was soon more than complete and ready 
for the field. 

' Thou wast the first to step forth,' said Matthias 
to Alf ; ' therefore be thou the first in the army, after 
me, and lead it on as my general.' 

The orator Rothman then embraced the youth, 
saying : ' Thou shouldst surely this day be taken up 
into our band through the holy baptism — but now, 
proceed to the greater business to which the Lord 
hath called thee ; — and shouldst thou even fall in the 
field in the cause of God, so wilt thou win the baptism 
of blood, which is still more efficacious for the remis- 
sion of sin, according to the doctrines of the oldest 
church.' 

' Come holy spirit, O Lord God ! ' sang Matthias, 
the whole multitude joining him in chorus ; and 
brandishing his spear, singing with a louder voice, 
with uncovered head, and without protective armor, 
the prophet led to the gates. Alf followed him with 
the singing host. No sooner had they left the last 
outworks behind them, than they were met by a por- 



224 TALES FROM THE GERMAN. 

tion of the enemy's forces, who were making an 
attempt to win the city by surprise. The episcopalians 
were not a little startled when they perceived so stout 
a band, which, in consequence of the shining mail of 
the armorers in the front ranks, seemed to them 
extremely well accoutred. 

' Now ask we the Holy Spirit ! ' exclaimed Matthias, 
commencing anew the harsh chant, in which his troops 
joyfully joined. The prophet plunged, singing, spear 
in hand, into the enemy's ranks. Near him fought 
Alf, who, more than true to the duty he had under- 
taken, made of his armor a shield for the protection 
of the defenceless body of the prophet. The troops, 
all singing, followed them with the impetuosity of 
fanaticism. The episcopalian mercenaries, frightened 
by the furious assault, (and not, like their opponents, 
inspired with a contempt for death,) made a feeble 
resistance, soon gave ground, and finally fled with 
winged feet back to their camp. 

' The Spirit has heard us, brethren ! ' cried Matthias. 
' Let us now startle the crimson, seven headed animal, 
whose name is full of blasphemy, from his den. Let 
us hurl down the great Babylon from its golden sad- 
dle, — that they both may fall into the fiery lake which 
burns with brimstone. On, on, on I ' and, commencing 
the death song that, under the command of Munzer 
and Metzler, had before inflamed the unfortunate 
German peasants to the most furious war of extermi- 
nation, the prophet pursued the flying episcopalians. 
^ On, on, on ! ' he roared incessantly, his spear dripping 



THE ANABAPTIST. 225 

with the blood of the cowards who gave themselves 
up to slaughter rather than fight. ' On, on, on ! ' sung 
the troops, who followed him in quick step, and the 
victors soon stood before the fortified camp, behind 
which the armed episcopalians were crowded. 

' Yield or die ! ' cried Alf, in whom the battle had 
kindled the warrior's enthusiasm, — and, rushing, to 
the barrier, he surmounted all obstacles, and stood 
upon the wall, where his halberd became like the 
scythe of the angel of death to the besieged. Incited, 
unceasingly, by Matthias, the crowd followed him as 
the defenders were driven back, and the anabaptists 
penetrated deep into their camp, until they reached 
the place where the banner of the church waved over 
a richly decorated tent. 

' That is the hold of anti-christ ! ' cried Matthias, 
rushing into the tent, while Alf drove the enemy 
wholly out of the camp. As he returned from the 
pursuit, he heard a mournful cry in the bishop's tent. 
Pushing in, he saw the prophet pitilessly raging 
among the defenceless domestics of the runaway 
bishop. Many dead bodies were already stretched 
upon the ground, and two beautiful pages were 
kneeling with closed eyes, before the monster, about 
to receive the death blow. 

Alf forcibly seized the uplifted spear. ' Thou hast 
appointed me to be the leader of the forces, brother 
Matthias,' said he, earnestly, * and I dare not allow 
that thou shouldst give my troops an evil example by 
the murder of these defenceless boys, whom we had 



226 TALES FROM THE GERMAN. 

better take prisoners and keep as hostages, preparing 
their souls for heaven through our holy baptism. 
Besides, we have not a moment to lose. The flying 
men have carried the alarm to the other camp, and 
new multitudes will soon be thronging here to oppose 
us. Let us therefore return to Munster while we 
can convey the booty there in safety.' 

' Thou art right, brother ! ' cried the prophet, sub- 
dued by the boldness and decision of the youth. 
' Thou understandest the business of war. We will 
forth. Let our people be called together. This 
young dragon's-brood, however, we will take with 
us, and thou shalt be answerable for them with thy 
head. I will baptise them myself to-morrow morning 
before all the people.' 

The drums called the plundering anabaptists to- 
gether. The host retreated to the city, laden with 
rich booty, and the bishop's troops, who had hastened 
to the assistance of the assailed quarter of the en- 
campment, came just in time to see the rejoicing 
anabaptists reentering the gates of Munster. 



CHAPTER IV. 



A COUNTLESS multitude exultingly met the return- 
ing victors. The prophet Johannes Bockhold at their 
head, in white festival garments, with green branches 
of fir in their hands, the maidens of the city sang 
to them in loud, joyful hosannas. It pleased the 
gallant, good humored Alf uncommonly well to 
receive praise from such beautiful lips. As he re- 
flected, however, that this song of praise was intended 
as much for Matthias as for himself, there came over 
Alf a silent vexation, instead of the pleasure of 
flattered vanity, and he strode on gloomily in front of 
his troops. The army halted upon the market place, 
and the booty, being common property, was secured 
in St. Lambert's church ; the two pages were given 
over to the orator Eothman, preparatory to their 
baptism ; the soldiers having been praised and dis- 
missed, and the evening having already approached, 
Alf with his surviving journeymen, half their number 
having fallen either in the first battle or in the storm- 
ing of the camp, proceeded toward Trutlinger's 
house. 



228 TALES FROM THE GERMAN. 

As he approached the house door, which was 
surmounted by a triumphal arch covered with pine 
boughs, he was met b\' the bewitching smiles of 
the beautiful Eliza, who was still clad in her white 
festival garments. 

' Welcome from battle and victory, brave soldier 
of the Spirit I ' cried she ; and, casting aside all 
maidenly bashfulness and constraint, she spread wide 
her arms toward the youth. 

* Dear maiden!' stammered he, most agreeably 
surprised by this second and dearest triumph. He 
pressed the charming girl to his mailed bosom, when, 
notwithstanding his unaccommodating helmet, they 
sought and found each other's lips, and united them 
with the double glow of fanaticism and sensuality, 
which both in their blindness mistook for the fire of 
pure love. 

At that moment out stepped from the parlor door a 
little, withered, yellow man, whose tattered garments 
were covered by a ragged black mantle. With 
friendly simpers he squinted out of his little, gray, 
malicious eyes upon the pair, and then, stretching 
his meager, death-like hand towards Alf, cried with 
a hoarse howl, ' Thee have I this day seen in my 
dreams, brother, contending and conquering in God's 
cause, and lo I my eyes have verified it, and the 
Lord has achieved great things through thee, his 
servant. Wherefore be glad, because God has chosen 
thee for yet greater things, and through thee shall 
his name become o-lorified in Zion I ' 



THE ANABAPTIST. 229 

The little hobgoblin with ridiculous pomposity then 
strode out of the house. Alf looked after him with 
his hand over his forehead, and said, 'sometimes, 
though in my native city, it appears to me as if I 
were in a residence of madmen, where all the fools 
go at large. Who was that strange man ? ' 

* John Tuiskoshirer,' answered Eliza, reprovingly, 
' an impoverished goldsmith ; but a great man since 
the spirit has come upon him. Often, already, has 
he edified the public by his elevated discourses and 
divine prophecies ; and, next to our great Matthias 
and Johannes, he is now the first prophet in Munster.' 

* Good God ! what a multitude of prophets,' sighed 
Alf ; and by this time Eliza had led him into the 
room. 

Behind a table illuminated with wax tapers and 
decorated as for a festival, sat the fair Clara. Her 
loose golden locks flowed down over her white gala 
dress. Her right arm supported her pale, sad face, 
and bright tears were falling from her eyes upon her 
white bosom. 

* Do you not bid me w^elcome, lovely little Clara ? ' 
Alf kindly asked of the sorrowing girl. ' Do you 
celebrate our victory with such bitter tears ? ' 

Clara lifted up her eyes toward the youth with 
gentle sorrow. ' Be not angry with me for it, dear 
Alf,' she begged in a soft, subdued tone ; ' every 
drop of blood shed in this unhappy war of opinion, 
falls envenomed upon my heart. Never shall I lose 
the remembrance of my poor uncle. He also was 
20 



230 TALES FROM THE GERMAN. 

butchered for the new faith, of which I do not yet 
rightly understand whether it is the genuine worship 
of God, or a hellish sacrifice.' 

* Leave the foolish girl ! ' cried Eliza, handing a 
goblet to Alf. * Her spirit is not yet born again to 
the light. She still lies bound in the chains of dark- 
ness. She is not able to offer every feeling joyfully 
upon the altar of the holy God.' 

* May He preserve me from such joy ! ' sighed 
Clara, almost inaudibly ; and Eliza with a quick 
warm pressure of the hand drew the youth upon 
a seat near herself. His fellow soldiers seated 
themselves opposite the beautiful couple, and the 
ceremonies of the repast began. With the pleasing 
narration of the conquering warriors and the sweeter 
praises of the fair Eliza, the generous Rhenish of old 
Trutlinger glided swiftly and deliciously down, and 
gradually extinguished in Alf all thoughts of the 
movements in Munster, which his right worthy head 
and heart had from time to time obtruded upon him. 
Deeper glowed the flush upon the blooming faces of 
the youth and maiden ; constantly brisker and more 
radiantly moved their eyes ; wuth constantly increas- 
ing: warmth were their kisses o^iven and received. 
The journeymen, rejected by the grieving Clara, 
could only keep to the goblet, until, overcome by 
Bacchus, they staggered one after the other to their 
places of rest. Alf and Eliza remained quietly sitting 
at table, as much occupied with each other as if 
there had been nobody else in the world. Leaning 



THE ANABAPTIST. 231 

sadly upon her arm, Clara looked through her tears 
upon the happy pair. Now and then a half sup- 
pressed sigh stole from her bosom, and she then 
placed her hand upon her heart as if she felt a 
sudden pain there. Already had the second hour 
after midnight struck upon St. Lambert's tower. 
Finall}^ Clara rose from her seat, took one of the 
low-burnt tapers from the table, and remarked with 
assumed tranquillity, ' it is late, and I am now going 
to bed, — wilt thou not go with m.e, sister V 

No answer came, and the poor maiden sorrowfully 
retired to her own sleeping room. 



CHAPTER V. 



Early in the morning Clara was awakened by a 
disturbance in the street and came from her chamber, 
when she saw the couple still there. She hastily 
disappeared with an exclamation of alarm and grief. 

' That must have been my sister ! ' cried Eliza, 
starting up with terror, her dark locks breaking loose 
from the band which had confined them. 

' Be not alarmed my beloved,' said Alf with sweet- 
ly soothing tones. ' Immediately after my baptism 
brother Eothman shall bless our union, and our 
weakness will meet with mild judgment from the 
spirit of mercy which rules over the new Zion.' 

* I will so explain the matter to that foolish girl,' 
cried Eliza, eagerly — ' that she may not again offend 
me by her cold insufferable silence, her customary 
weapon when w^e occasionally disagree. She may 
censure and envy, but she shall respect me even in 
my aberration.' 

She hastened to her chamber, while Alf prepared 
to go about his daily pursuits in the workshop. He 
was met at the door by his fellow wanderer the tailor. 



THE ANABAPTIST. 233 

' What have I prophesied ? ' asked the latter, un- 
ceremoniously seating himself at the table which 
remained as it had been prepared the previous even- 
ing. ' What have I prophesied ? ' he asked again, 
helping himself to a large slice of the gammon of 
bacon which he found opposite him upon the table. 
Then, pouring out a goblet of wine from the bottle 
and swallowing it, he a third time asked, ' what 
have I prophesied ? ' 

* The devil only knows ! ' cried Alf, impatiently. 
' There are so many prophecies in Munster that my 
head has already become wholly confused by them.' 

' I have foretold,' said the tailor, with pathos, ' that 
my beloved friend and brother, the prophet Johannes 
Bockhold, would one day become a great man in the 
world. You would not believe it, because in the 
pride of your big fist, you could not be brought to 
entertain a good opinion of a tailor. And now a 
tailor has become your master and sovereign ; lord 
over your life and death.' 

' You have got into your cups early,' growled 
Alf, ' and now being drunk, you make me lose the 
precious morning hours with your miserable fables.' 

' What I say is true,' muttered the tailor through 
his stuffed cheeks ; * and it is you who are mad and 
foolish. Only hear how cleverly every thing has 
been brought about. This morning by day-break, 
while you were indolently sleeping, the prophet 
Matthias called all the people to the market. He 
there declared to them that he would go forth with 
20^ 



234 TALES FROM THE GERMAN. 

a handful of people, like Gideon, and slay the host 
of the ungodly. He called and took with him to the 
bishop's camp, only thirty men. I know not whether 
he had not asked of the Spirit aright, or whether the 
Spirit did not answer him rightly : to be brief, a 
slaughter did indeed follow, — not of the host of the 
ungodly, but of the good Gideon and his thirty men ; 
not a man of them escaped. As I afterwards went 
to the market place, a mournful wailing sounded in 
my ears. The people were beside themselves, to 
think that they had lost their ruler in so shameful a 
manner ; and here and there some fools maintained, 
that the great Matthias must have misinterpreted the 
Spirit in this affair. Then the still greater Johannes 
Bockhold stepped forward, and spoke to the multi- 
tude. God ! what words did this man use to calm, 
console, and elevate the people I He had known 
the death of Matthias beforehand. He had seen in 
the spirit that that great prophet must fall, a second 
Maccabeus, fighting for the people. Thence we 
directly perceived that all was in order, that it could 
by no means be otherwise, and we were content. 
Then, upon the market-place, we called the preacher 
of consolation to be our chief ruler, — and he already 
commands in such a way that it is a pleasure to see 
him, — he has a wilder and more lordly manner 
than his predecessor Matthias. His maxim is — that 
the high shall be brought down, and the lowly 
shall be exalted. Consequently Ave shall destroy the 
churches and make them level with the earth, — 



THE ANABAPTIST. 235 

because they are the highest buildings in the city. 
It will be a little tedious, and we also need stout 
arms for the defence of the walls ; we shall, there- 
fore, for the present only plunder the churches a 
little, until we have leisure for their complete de- 
molition.' 

* The churches also to be destro3"ed ! ' sighed Alf, 
' must that also be ? it is most horrible ! ^ 

Meanwhile a wild popular tumult arose out of 
doors. Both hastened to the window. A great 
multitude of the populace ran by, shouting incohe- 
rently. They were followed by a naked man, who 
came leaping forward as if impelled by a demon, 
and who, with foaming mouth and strange bodily 
contortions, incessantly bawled, ' the King of Zion 
comes I ' Thus vociferating, he passed rapidly by. 
' The King of Zion comes ! ' cried the mob who 
followed him ; and Alf, disgusted with such indecent 
madness, withdrew from the window. 

' Who was that madman V asked he of the tailor, 
after a moment's pause. 

' Did you not know him ? ' asked the tailor in 
return. ' That was oar highest prophet, Johannes 
Bockhold himself. The spirit has come over him. 
I must follow and see what further he will do.' 

He went ; and Alf, in fearful dubitation said to 
himself, ' by such a chief is Munster to be governed ! 
It will not and it cannot come to good.' 



CHAPTER VI. 



This last specimen of fanatical rage had made 
such a decided impression upon the good Alf, that he 
no longer felt any special desire for that baptism 
which was to complete his spiritual union with the 
great prophet ; and as, notwithstanding his adherence 
to the new doctrines, he began to feel a secret loath- 
ing of the unceasing exhortations, revelations and 
prophecies, by means of which the people were kept in 
such a constant ferment, he devoted himself to assid- 
uous labor for arming the defences of the city, and 
under this excuse withdrew himself from the public 
meetings of the populace which were daily drummed 
together. 

For a time his attention was entirely absorbed by 
his workshop and his Eliza, whose wild tenderness 
steeped his youthful senses in a sea of pleasure, such 
as he had never before dreamed of. Clara in her 
quiet, patient way, observed the happiness of the 
lovers, who placed no restraint upon themselves on 
her account ; and the only discoverable effect it pro- 
duced on her was, that she became every day paler 
and more fragile. 



THE ANABAPTIST. 237 

This was perceived by the kind-hearted Alf, and as 
he happened to find the good child on one occasion 
alone in her sitting room, engaged at her distaff, he 
seated himself beside her in a familiar manner and, 
pressing her hand, asked her, * what ails thee, my 
good sister ? ' 

' Ah ! call me not so, Kippenbrock,' said Clara, 
sorrowfully ; and gently withdrew her hand. 

* Wherefore not ? ' cried Alf, surprised. ' May I 
not call thee sister, as thy brother in the faith, and as 
the future husband of the dear Eliza ? ' 

The maiden raised her tearful eyes to Him on high. 
* You pierce my wounded heart,' said she, * but you 
do not know the pain you inflict, and therefore do I 
right willingly forgive you.' 

' Again I do not understand you,' said Alf. * I see 
you always sorrowful, and I can endure it no longer. 
I feel myself so happy with your sister, that I desire 
to render all about me as happy as myself. There- 
fore confide in me, good maiden, and take my word 
for it, I will do everything in my power to mitigate 
your sorrow.' 

' / confide in you ! in you ! ' cried Clara, rising and 
attempting to retire. 

The stout youth held her fast in his arms. ^ No,' 
said he, ' beloved Clara, I will not let you go until 
you have opened your heart to me. By the holy God, 
mine is well disposed toward you.' 

At that moment the door opened, and the detesta- 
ble Tuiskoshirer, closely wrapped in his tattered 
mantle, walked in. 



238 TALES FROM THE GERMAN. 

' My God ! ' shrieked Clara, as she caught a glimpse 
of him, and violently disengaging herself from Alf's 
arms, she sprang out of the room. 

With a smirk upon his lips, which he seemed to 
have borrowed from a monkey, the little man followed 
her with his eyes until she disappeared — then, step- 
ping solemnly in front of Alf, called to him in a 
hoarse, howling voice, ' art thou willing to become 
king of Zion, brother ? ' 

* I king of Zion ? ' asked Alf in return, with the 
greatest astonishment. ' How can such a thing be ? ' 

* I ask thee,' howled Tuiskoshirer, ' if thou wilt be 
king over the new Zion, formerly under the anti-christ, 
called Munster ? ' 

' I rule over this same Munster as its chief magis- 
trate ? ' cried Alf, laughing. 'That is a w^onderful 
proposition, and besides, it appears to me as if we 
were not the men to accomplish it.' 

' Short sighted man !' growled Tuiskoshirer, 
' knowest thou not that the first shall be last and the 
last shall be first ? We are all clay in the hands of 
the Potter. The Spirit has just seated himself near 
the board in order to make a king. To that eminence 
will I raise thee up ; for thou art a brave warrior, 
and moreover a handsome youth, and wilt administer 
the government with power and mildness, for the 
w^elfare of all.' 

' Ah ! do not propose such pranks to me,' said Alf. 
' You have others more suitable for that office than I ; 
and besides, Johannes Bockhold w^ould make a pow- 
erful opposition to my mountinor the throne.' 



THE ANABAPTIST. 239 

' Johannes Bockhold,' answered Tuiskoshirer, * is a 
feather in the breath of my mouth. He has indeed 
thought of announcing himself as the new king of 
this city, yet shall have only served you, if you will 
but accept the sceptre. I have seen through the 
prophet's character ; he has much madness, yet little 
courage, and we need a consummate man upon this 
iron throne.' 

' Are you wholly in earnest in making these propo- 
sitions ? ' asked Alf. * Then I must indeed answer in 
earnest. I do not feel myself fit to govern a nation 
and people, nor to take upon myself an office for 
which I have not been prepared, — from which may 
God mercifully preserve me ! ' 

' Fool ! ' cried Tuiskoshirer ; * ruling is as light and 
easy as it is pleasant.' 

' Yet heavy and severe is the reckoning above for 
bad government,' replied Alf. ' No, seek thee anoth- 
er king.' 

Tuiskoshirer then flung open his tattered mantle, 
and drew from under its folds a magnificent regal 
crown, ingeniously formed of fine gold, and splendid- 
ly radiant with diamonds, rubies, emeralds and sap- 
phires, and, as he turned and waved it here and 
there in the sunlight, the golden and colored sparkles 
played so gaily about the room, that Alf was compell- 
ed to turn away his blinded eyes. 

' In this crown is placed all my earthly wealth,' 
said Tuiskoshirer, pathetically. ' Ingeniously have I 
made it, during the stillness of the night, as an offer- 



240 TALES FROM THE GERMAN.. 

ing for the Spirit, that he therewith might crown the 
new king of Zion. Thee have I selected therefor, 
from among a thousand. Do you but consent, and 
I will set this emblem of royalty upon your head, and 
with God's help I will maintain it there.' 

The youth looked at the beautiful crown for a 
moment, and its golden lustre seemed to awaken his 
ambition ; but his better self soon conquered. 
' Leave me, tempter I' cried he with vehemence, and 
forcibly replacing the bauble under the prophet's 
mantle, he dexterously pushed him out through the 
door. 

' You will repent of this,' howled the little man as 
he disappeared. 



CHAPTER VII. 



' The duodecemvir, Dilbek, would speak with you,' 
announced an apprentice to the industrious Alf an 
hour afterwards. Surprised at the visit of a person 
whose name and office were alike unknown to him, 
he repaired to the parlor, where, in respectable black 
judicial robes, his comical fool's face peeping above a 
colossal white ruff, and his diminutive form attached 
to a long thrusting sword, strutted before him the 
aerial tailor. 

* Knowing that you would feel an interest in my 
happiness, my good fellow,' (snarled and lisped the 
new duodecemvir, in an incredibly gentlemanlike 
manner,) * I could not forbear informing you in person 
of the good fortune which has come to me through 
the mercy of the Spirit.' 

' What means this masquerade ? ' cried Alf, peev- 
ishly. ' Take off that fool's jacket again ; it does 
not become you, upon my word.' 

' Have respect, my friend,' said Dilbek, earnestly. 
' Every official dress confers honor upon its wearer, 
21 



242 TALES FROM THE GERMAN, 

and this it has become my duty to wear, as one of 
the twelve judges over Israel.' 

' You ? you become a judge V laughed Alf. ' Go 
and seek some other fool to believe you.' 

' You are and always will be an unbelieving 
Thomas,' cried Dilbek angrily ; ' and doubt every 
thing that you cannot feel with your hands. I repeat 
to you that I have even now come from the market, 
where the people have established the new tribunal.' 

* And the mayor and aldermen, who governed until 
now ? ' asked Alf 

' Unseated, all unseated !' answered the tailor, who 
stalked about the room examining himself ' Your 
kinsman again slays his cattle and his swine with his 
own hands ; and the good Knipperdolling, a learned 
man, and therefore not able to turn his hand to any 
thing useful, has become the official hangman, with 
which the poor man will still be able to procure a 
livelihood.' 

' Good God ! ' exclaimed Alf, ' who has done this ? ' 

' This wise transformation of our government pro- 
ceeds from our chief prophet,' answered the tailor- 
judge. ' Since he, moved by the Spirit, ran through 
the streets in the condition of holy nature, he had not 
spoken a word, but made himself understood by wri- 
ting ; he was compelled to remain mute three days. 
When that time had elapsed he declared the new 
commands of the Spirit. Yesterday the honorable 
counsellors obediently laid down their offices, and to- 
day I have been installed with my lordly colleagues.' 



THE ANABAPTIST. 243 

' God preserve my reason ! ' cried Alf. ^ By these 
mad movements and continual changes, I incur the 
danger of losing it.' 

' Only be patient,' said the tailor mysteriously. 
' Better things will come. I have already heard 
various whispers. Our prophet is not the man to 
stop half way. Think of what I told you when we 
were traveling to Munster ; it is not yet the end of 
time ! I must now leave you, as we judges are invited 
to a feast by the chief prophet. He marries, this 
day, the beautiful widow of his predecessor, the great 
Matthias. Farewell ! I shall always remain friendly 
to you, and should I hereafter rise yet higher on the 
scale of honor, you will always find in me a patron 
and protector.' 

After one or two failures, the duodecemvir finally 
succeeded in passing himself and his new sword 
through the room door. 

' Surely ! ' cried Alf impatiently, ' if this tailor-spirit 
is to set such vagabonds upon the judgment-seat of 
my native city, I may soon repent that I refused the 
crown. It would at least have given me the power 
to hinder many acts of madness.' 



CHAPTER VIII. 



Some time aftenvards, Alf was sitting arm in arm 
with his Eliza in the family sitting-room, while Clara 
was spinning near the window, and moistening the 
thread with her bitter tears. Suddenly the door flew 
open, and in clattered a stout young trooper, who ex- 
tended his hand to Alf, joyously exclaiming, * God 
bless you, my dear school fellow I Do you not know 
me?' 

' Hanslein of the long street ! ' cried Alf, embracing 
the friend of his youth. ' Welcome to Munster I ' 

' Hanslein of the long street ? ' asked the beautiful 
Eliza, with surprise and displeasure. ' How is this ? 
were you not an episcopalian ? ' 

' Certainly,' answered Hanslein, ' with body and 
soul, until the day before yesterday. On that day I 
got into a quarrel with my Serjeant while drinking 
with him, and laid my blade over his head in a way 
that he will not easily forget. Life is as dear to me 
as to any other man, and therefore I made my way 
out of the bishop's camp, rode over to yours, and now 
let your orator but once more wash my head, and I 



THE ANABAPTIST. 245 



am prepared to contend bravely with my old brethren 
in arms.' 

* When the chief prophet holds you worthy of 
being received into our community ! ' sharply observ- 
ed Eliza, who was highly offended at the frivolous 
conversation of the renegade. 

' The worthy tailor has already received me with 
open arms,' answered Hanslein. ' I have become 
captain of the seventh company, and am quartered 
with the burgomaster-hangman Knipperdolling, where 
we have wine and women in abundance.' 

Eliza rose up indignant, and silently motioned to 
Clara to follow her. The latter obeyed, and the two 
friends were left alone. 

' A pair of pretty maidens ! ' said Hanslein, looking 
admiringly after them ; ' and you are indeed a lucky 
dog, to be a favorite with both.' 

' I am the promised bridegroom of the eldest,' 
answered Alf, ' and know my duty.' 

* An anabaptist, and so affectedly coy ? ' laughed 
the hair-brained fellow. ' You court them both at the 
same time, I'll be sworn ; and should any one attack 
you on that account, you need only refer to the exam- 
ple of our chief prophet.' 

* It cannot be possible ! ' exclaimed Alf with abhor- 
rence. 

At this moment Clara stepped into the room, 
placed before Alf a pitcher of wine and two goblets, 
and then again retired. 

Hanslein observed her attentively, and said as she 
2P 




246 TALES FROM THE GERMAN. 



went out, * deny no longer, you rogue, that both the 
maidens are yours. I found you in the arms of one 
of them, and the long, tender glance which the other 
justgQow threw upon you, confesses enough.' 

^ rtell you that you are mistaken ! ' cried Alf impa- 
tiently, filling the cups to the brim ; ' leave your 
joking, and join me in drinking success to our good 
cause.' 

' With all my heart ! ' said Hanslein, striking his glass 
against Alf 's, and then pouring down the wine ; ' al- 
though I am not yet quite clear as to exactly where 
the good cause is to be found, here, or in the camp of 
our old master. To return once more to my former 
theme, you render life needlessly unpleasant both to 
yourself and to the poor damsels. You would do 
much better to marry them both.' 

' You are out of your senses ! ' exclaimed Alf, 
angrily. ' How can I sin against the command- 
ments of God ? ' 

' First point out to me one passage in the bible 

ich prohibits polygamy,' said Hanslein ; ' and what 
"not prohibited is allowed I The old beards, the 
patriarchs, always indulged themselves in that way. 
To be sure, when the wives come directly in each 
other's way, it may be a little stormy in the house, as 
father Abraham learned long ago to his sorrow ; but, 
after all, you are the man to seize and hold the reins 
of government firmly, and to interfere decidedly, if 
your wives should show a disposition to kick out of 
the traces.' 



THE ANABAPTIST. 247 



Alf could not refrain from laughing at the 'chatterer, 
and finally said, * I know not how you came by the 
conceit of advocating double marriages, but to a 
poacher like you, I should suppose it would be pleas- 
anter to beat up game in the preserves of others.' 

' There will remain enough for me on both sides of 
the hedge,' said Hanslein ; * and a handsome young 
man like you must be the first to follow any new 
fashion, especially so pleasant a one as this.' 

' The chief prophet might disapprove of the new 
fashion,' said Alf; ' even according to our old laws, 
there is a heavy penalty against polygamy.' 

' The chief prophet ! ' laughed Hanslein. ' The 
doctrine which I have just now been preaching to you 
came from his own mouth. How else could I have 
conversed so learnedly upon the subject ?' 

' The chief prophet !' cried Alf in amazement. 

* Just so,' answered Hanslein. ' When he saw 
that I recognized him, he beckoned me to approach, 
and presented a purse of ducats to me, giving me at 
the same time an excellent lecture upon the duty of 
every christian to take more than one wife ; it is a 
prerogative, said he, which God reserves for his holy 
children ; aiid he intimated his determination to 
explain the matter to the community, and moreover 
that he would himself take fifteen wives, on account 
of the good example which he was bound to set the 
people.' 

' This can never prosper ! ' thought Alf, shaking 
his head. 



248 TALES FROM THE GERMAN. 

* What can be impossible to the godly tailor ? ' 
exclaimed Hanslein, swallowing the last glass. 
* Farewell brother ! I must now to the parade, and 
relieve the early morning watch. When I am at 
liberty, if you should indeed conclude to marry both 
of the damsels, then I ask it as a particular favor that 
I may be invited to the marriage feast.' 

He bustled forth ; but Alf remained sitting in a 
melancholy reverie. ' Even polygamy is now encour- 
aged !' sighed he. * Every good old moral custom is 
broken ! How must it end ? ' 




CHAPTER IX. 



At the new gate, where the river Aa empties itself 
into the Ems, Alf had his watch as the chosen captain 
of the armorers. It was already deep night — he 
lay upon his field bed, and the images of Eliza and 
Clara were floating confusedly before his half closed 
eyes. Suddenly he heard the burgher sentinel hail 
some one, and immediately afterwards Hanslein 
stepped into the officers' quarters, wrapped in a mantle. 

' What brings 3^ou here so late, brother ? ' asked 
Alf, springing up in astonishment. 

' Mischief, my brother,' whispered Hanslein. ' I 
come in the name of the chief prophet. First of all, 
get your men quickly and quietly under arms, and let 
their guns be carefully loaded ; double all the guards, 
and let strong patrols be sent out. The city is in 
danger from without and within I ' 

Alf proceeded silently to the large guardroom, to 
execute the command ; then, returning to his friend, 
he eagerly asked him the cause of the alarm. 

* Polygamy,' answered Hanslein, of which we ex- 
amined the pleasant bearings the day before yester- 



250 TALES FROM THE GERMAN. 

day has now turned out confoundedly serious. Early 
this morning while you were upon guard, the prophet 
Johannes Bockhold caused the populace to be drummed 
together and laid the hazardous question before them. 
An old burgher, who might already have had domestic 
trouble enough at home, coldly gave his opinion that the 
adoption of such a course would be warring against the 
bible and against all Christendom. Thereupon Jo- 
hannes, who cannot bear much contradiction, became 
furious, caused the old man to be seized on the spot, 
and made, by the aid of friend Knipperdolling, a 
head shorter. Such a mode of stating the counter 
argument was too sudden and too violent for the people. 
They laid their heads together here and there, and 
a number of malcontents determined, at a secret 
meeting, to give up the city to the episcopalians 
this night. But lord Johannes, who has a very fine 
nose, got wind of them in time. He has taken his 
measures yet more secretly than his foes, and Knip- 
perdolling will do a fine business early in the morn- 
ing.' 

'Never-ending slaughters!' murmured Alf, sor- 
rowfully. * What we have gained is hardly an 
equivalent for the blood spilled in its attainment.' 

* The tree of spiritual freedom,' said Hanslein ironi- 
cally, shrugging his shoulders, ' must be properly 
watered, if you would have it grow and thrive.' 

Meanwhile, the patrols having returned to the 
guard room, Hanslein went out to meet them. ' All 
right I ' was the w^ord from all sides. Only the detach- 



THE ANABAPTIST. 251 

ment who had been scouring the out works, thought 
that they had heard a suspicious rustling of arms in 
the distance. 

* And you went no nearer to see what was going on ? ' 
interrupted Alf : * Then I must take a turn myself, 
and see what mischief is brewing. Forward ! ' 

He and Hanslein carefully led the patrol through 
the little side-door out over the bridges. ' Stand here 
silently,' commanded Alf, — ' I will go softly forward 
with the captain. As soon as you hear any noise, 
move quickly towards it.' 

Alf and Hanslein now proceeded stealthily forward, 
constantly further and further, behind the angles of 
the outworks, carefully bending close to them. Sud- 
denly they heard at a distance the clattering of spurs 
which rapidly approached. 

' Let us conceal ourselves behind the palisades,' 
whispered Hanslein to Alf. They had hardly concealed 
themselves when the rattling of the spurred heels 
approached. The obscure forms of two men became 
visible in the darkness. They passed b}^ the concealed 
friends and then stopped. 

* That is the place,' said a deep bass voice. ' Give 
the sign, Serjeant.' The other figure then raised his 
hand to his mouth, and repeated three times a clear- 
sounding tone imitating a bird-call. 

' Now upon them ! ' cried Alf, springing from behind 
the palisades, seizing the first figure by the right 
arm with the strength of a bear, and placing his sword 
at his breast. At the same moment Hanslein dealt a 



252 TALES FROM THE GERMAN. 

powerful blow upon the second figure. ' Jesus Maria ! ' 
cried the latter, and instantly disappeared in the 
darkness. 

' Coward ! ' growled the other ; but Alf mastered 
hiin. ' No noise, nor any attempt at resistance, or I 
shall be compelled to strike you down. You must 
follow^ us into the city.' 

' Thus to end ! ' groaned the prisoner — and at that 
moment the first rays of the rising moon beamed over 
the edge of the horizon and threw their light upon the 
captive. He was a stately old cavalier, with a chain 
of honor over his shining silver harness, and a most 
venerable countenance, from which even his unhappy 
accident had not been able to drive the impress of 
determined spirit and courage. 

Alf was troubled by his steady gaze, which excited 
emotions of respect and esteem. He looked inquiringly 
at Hanslein, who returned a similar glance, and both 
remained standing by their prisoner, as if by tacit 
agreement. 

' Shall we deliver this noble form to the terrible 
Johannes ? ' at last asked Alf of his fellow soldier. 

' It would certainly make me very unhappy to see 
this head fall under the axe of the executioner,' mur- 
mured Hanslein. 

' You think and feel as I do, brother,' cried Alf, 
joyfully. ' Therefore pursue your way in peace, sir 
colonel, or whatever else you may chance to be. We 
will have no part in the shedding of your blood ! ' 

' Shall I have to thank anabaptists for my life and 



THE ANABAPTIST. 253 

liberty ? ' asked the knight, half indignant and half 
astonished. 

'Accept it, however,' said Alf, 'and with it the 
proof that the people of Munster are not all such 
monsters as you may have believed until now. If this 
friendly service appears to you to be thankworthy, you 
can repay it with like clemency w^hen one of our 
brethren falls into your hands.' 

' That will I, comrade, by my word,' answered the 
knight, much affected. ' To prove that my feelings 
are equally good toward you, I invite you to follow 
me into our camp. People of your stamp are not 
in their right place in that den of wild beasts, who 
sooner or later must come to an ignominious end.' 

* Spare your words,' answered Alf. ' We hold fast 
to our faith.' 

'And have divers cogent reasons besides,' said 
Hanslein, (grasping his neck in a manner not to be 
misunderstood,) ' to decline the honor of visiting the 
lord bishop.' 

' Our men approach,' said Alf, looking toward the 
city. ' Depart, sir knight, before it is too late.' 

' God teach you the right path, poor erring wander- 
ers,' said the knight, compassionately, as he hastened 
away. 

Scolding as he went, Alf approached his troops. 
' Were you not ordered to advance upon the first 
alarm ? ' growled he. ' Heard you not when I gave 
the word for the onset ? Had you beejpi there, as it 
v/as your duty to have been, we should have taken an 
22 



254 TALES FROM THE GERMAN. 

episcopalian field officer. He has escaped to his fol- 
lowers, and Ave must hasten back to the city, lest we 
be finally cut off and taken prisoners.' 

The honest Munsterers exculpated themselves in the 
best way they could, entreating that their oversight 
might not be made known to the grim prophet ; and 
with drooping heads followed the two friends back 
into the citv. 



CHAPTER X. 



An alarm, as if the world were sinking, was now 
raised in Munster. The bells rung, the drums beat, 
and the armed masses ran together, filling the air with 
their wild shouts. Alf and Hanslein mounted the 
wall over the gate and looked down upon the city, in 
the streets of which torches were every where blazing. 
From the market before St. Lambert's church the 
light of an immense fire arose to the heavens, and the 
sounds of a horrible shouting and screaming as from 
many thousands came thence over the city. 

' This is a dreadful night,' said Alf, leaning sadly 
upon his sword. 

' If I should say,' observed Hanslein, ' that the ap- 
pearance of the city was particularly pleasing to me, 
I should tell a falsehood. Were it not for my unlucky 
affair with the Serjeant, I would have gone to the 
episcopalian camp with the field officer, in God's 
name.' 

Finally, a certain degree of order seemed to prevail 
in the chaos about the market place, although like 
every thing there, it was of a horrible nature. To a 
short, ferocious yell of the populace succeeded a 



256 TALES FROM THE GERMAN. 

profound and terrible pause — then cracked a volley of 
musketry, and then again another pause — and so 
alternately screams, pauses and reports of fire-arms, 
until Hanslein had counted twenty volleys. 

* What can that musketry mean ? ' asked Alf in an 
undertone, with some misgivings as to the nature of 
the proceedings. 

' Master Johannes may just now be undertaking to 
sift his flock,' said Hanslein. 

' Must it then be,' exclaimed Alf with bitter grief, 
' that by every revolution, although intended to pro- 
mote the welfare of the whole people, men must be 
placed at the head who have no hearts in their bodies, 
and who rule by destroying the lives of their brethren ! ' 

' It appears so,' answered Hanslein. ' Whoever 
is placed at the head by popular commotions, must 
himself be a bold demagogue who has no property, 
character or conscience to lose. To leap over every 
obstacle and ward off every danger by the destruction 
of a dozen or two of his fellow men, is nothing at all 
to him. People like you, my brother, would make 
right good leaders, for which nothing is really requi- 
site but vigor, honesty and sound sense ; but honest 
people draw back from such opportunities from a want 
of self confidence, and thereby give the devils free 
scope to do evil, which is very wrong I ' 

Alf, reminded by this conversation of Tuiskoshirer's 
rejected crown, and of old Fabricius's prophecy, at last 
sorrowfully exclaimed, ' in an unhappy hour came I 
home to my native city!' and proceeded to join the 
ofuard. 



CHAPTER XL 



The next morning, when Alf 's guard was relieved, 
he marched his men by the market place. Horrible 
was the sight which there awaited him. The square 
before St. Lambert's church was converted into an 
immense slaughter yard, and filled with human flesh. 
A great number of unfortunates were bound to stakes 
and shot through ; a part of whom had bled out their 
lives, and a part were still writhing and twisting in 
the agonies of the death struggle. Others lay upon 
the bloody pavement, some hacked to pieces with the 
sword and some beheaded. The ranting Knipperdol- 
ling in his robes of office, his face flushed, with naked 
and blood-sprinkled arms, was continually and un- 
weariedly swinging his broad executioner's sword over 
victims, who, either voluntarily or forced by armed 
men, were kneeling before him. 

' Left wheel ! ' commanded Alf, averting his eyes ; 
and he led his men through side-streets and by-ways 
to the company's parade ground. 

As the men were separating, and Alf proceeding to 
his own quarters, he was met by poor Clara, who 
22^ 



2-58 TALES FROM THE GERMAN. 

came to him, her eyes red with weeping, and with 
despair depicted on her countenance. 

' Will you grant me a private conversation ? ' said 
she ; * it concerns my life — and though you may deem 
that of little consequence, still your heart is too good 
not to feel a sympathy for an unfortunate being, whose 
last hope is in your protection.' 

' In God's name, what is going forward ? ' asked 
Alf, alarmed, leading the maiden into the garden 
adjoining the house. ' Speak, dear Clara, and open 
your heart to me. My blood for thee ! ' 

' The chief prophet and the twelve judges,' answered 
Clara, ' have published a mandate, by which a plurality 
of wives is not only allowed but commanded. Not to 
avail one's self of this spiritual license, is deemed 
a crime. Spies search all houses and drag forth 
the marriageable maidens ; who are compelled to 
marry instantly. I hoped to find a defence of my 
maiden honor in my insignificance ; but the hideous 
Tuiskoshirer has selected me for his third wife. 
Rather than consummate my ruin by giving my hand 
to that disgusting madman, I would jump into the 
river Aa, and there find an end to my life and my 
afflictions.' 

' With God's help,' cried Alf, ' you shall neither 
jump into the river, Clara, nor into Tuiskoshirer 's 
arms ; in which indeed you might find worse repose. 
Is the old wizard mad, that he lifts his eyes to so 
pretty a maiden ? ' 

' There is but one way left for mv deliverance,' said 



THE ANABAPTIST. 259 

Clara. ' You are to marry my sister, dear brother-in- 
law — wherefore I beg of you to bestow upon me, out 
of compassion, the name of one of your wives, that 
it may protect me from the impudence of his hateful 
assaults. Understand me rightly,' added she, earnest- 
ly ;' I ask to be one of your wives in name only. 
This relation shall give neither to you nor me new 
duties nor new rights — and when the fate of this 
unhappy city once changes, then shall we two in no 
respect be bound to each other.' 

* Such an apparent marriage only, will be but little 
pleasant to either party,' replied Alf. ' Should you not 
rather find in Munster some young handsome fellow, 
with whom you may be married in a proper and 
orderly manner, according to the commandments of 
God?' 

* God preserve me from men ! ' cried Clara, a deep 
crimson suddenly suffusing her pale cheeks. 'After 
what I have here witnessed they have all become my 
detestation. Even you I select only upon irresistible 
compulsion, and because the connection can be so 
arranged that I may be called by your name without 
belonging to you.' 

' This courtship is certainly not particularly polite, 
my little Clara,' said Alf; 'but before you leap into 
the water with me, it is necessary that I should say 
yes. I wish I could have first explained the matter 
properly to your sister — I know not whether the im- 
perious damsel will be so willing to accommodate 
herself to the new decree of the twelve judges.' 



260 TALES FROM THE GERMAN. 

' The life of her sister is at stake,' cried Clara, in 
deep agony, * who will most willingly remain a maiden 
after, as before, and renounce every right to even a 
friendly look from her husband.' 

' It will be a strange marriage,'- mustered Alf, rub- 
bing his hands in much perplexity ; * nevertheless let 
us trust in God. It would be well, if these times pro- 
duced nothing more wonderful in old Munster.' 

* There comes the monster ! Protect me, Kippen- 
brock ! ' shrieked Clara, hiding her face in Alf 's bosom. 

Alf looked up and saw Eliza conducting Tuisko- 
shirer into the garden. After him pressed a ragged 
and armed multitude. 

' Whatever you may do, my brother,' howled the 
prophet, ' I yet cannot desert you. Our names must 
stand near each other in the book of the Spirit. You 
have contemptuously rejected the alliance which I 
proposed to you out of the goodness of my heart ; 
nevertheless, to-day I propose a new band which shall 
bind us both in brotherhood. I ask for the sister of 
your betrothed, dear brother-in-law, and desire to take 
her home with me as my christian wife.' 

' I regret, my brother,' said Alf, encircling Clara 
with his arms, ' that you come too late. In obedience 
to the new law, I have asked the maiden to become 
my second wife, and have obtained her consent.' 

' Indeed ! ' escaped from the proud Eliza, while she 
bit her lips and darted a not altogether sisterly glance 
at the poor Clara. 



THE ANABAPTIST. 261 

' Heigh ! ' stammered Tuiskoshirer, in a tone of 
mingled fear and anger. 

' Your courtship take precedence of that of the great 
prophet Tuiskoshirer ! ' cried one of the ragged 
bridal train, springing towards Clara, seizing her by 
the arm and endeavoring forcibly to drag her to her 
detested suitor. Alf instantly seized him by the body 
and with a powerful swing threw him over the garden 
fence. ' Who else will interfere ? ' cried he, lustily, 
making after the multitude, who in great trepidation 
were seeking the door. 

' An insolent reply was all that I wanted,' snarled 
Tuiskoshirer, as he followed his retreating rabble. 

' Sister and sister-in-law at the same time ? ' asked 
Eliza in a tone of bitterness, pointing towards Clara. 
' I might at least have been previously informed of it,' 
said she, leaving the garden in a rage. 

* Necessity knows no law, dear Eliza,' pleaded Alf, 
following her. 

' It is a heavy duty which I have taken upon me,' 
said Clara to herself, * to preserve the appearance of 
coldness toward the man whom I love better than all 
the world beside ; but God will help me.' 



CHAPTER XII. 



In the course of the next week Alf had sufficiently 
softened Eliza's anger : she had with a heavy heart 
learned to share her beloved husband's name with her 
unloved sister, and Alf now went to his worthy kins- 
man, the former burgomaster Kippenbrock, to invite 
him to the marriage feast. He found the good man 
a perfect contrast to his terrible ex-colleague ; in the 
short brown butcher's jacket and white apron, with 
his sleeves rolled up, he was standing in his shop, 
making sausages ; — his full, red, contented face cov- 
ered with glistening drops of perspiration, a proof that 
he pursued his occupation with right good will. 

' I am rejoiced, good kinsman, that you have so 
easily submitted to the loss of political greatness.' 

' Yes, kinsman,' answered Gerhard familiarly, laying 
down his sausage-knife, ' to thee I may say it ; thou 
wilt keep clean lips, and so it will remain in the 
family — when I was compelled to lay down the 
burgomastership and take off the chain of honor, I 
might as well have been knocked on the head with an 
axe, like one of my own fat oxen, and I bore my de- 



THE ANABAPTIST. 263 

position not at all submissively; but as I reflected 
more upon the subject, I came to consider it less an 
evil, and now all is well with me. There was much 
vexation about the office also, and I oftentimes felt that 
I was not adapted to it. When a man once under- 
takes to perform duties, which his education has not 
prepared him for, he always continues unsuitable for 
the place, and often inadvertently does great injustice 
to the people. It was truly a fortunate circumstance, 
however, that my learned colleague Knipperdolling 
had sufficient acuteness to keep us out of difficulty, 
else I should have been compelled to abandon my 
office on the first day. Now, comparatively, I live in 
heaven, slaughtering my oxen and my swine, which I 
understand thoroughly — my sausages are always the 
best in Munster — and it is wholly a different thing 
when one is quite at home in his employment. Mark 
me, if the chief prophet should at any time offer me 
an office, so true as my name is Gerhard Kippenbrock, 
I would say NO, and would stick to my hatchet and 
chopping-block ! ' 

Alf praised his noble renunciation of office, and then 
formally brought forward his invitation. 

' I wish you much happiness ! ' cried Gerhard, 
heartily shaking his kinsman's hand. * That all the 
preparations of the meat kind for the marriage and 
festival are to be my care, is already understood ; 
and I may, moreover, take some care for the new 
housekeeping.' 

Alf wished to protest against such great generosity; 



264 TALES FROM THE GERMAN. 

but he answered, — * I, an old housekeeper, must un- 
derstand these things better than a young chicken like 
you, — I know what one housewife has cost me, and 
you take two at once. There are the rich trencher- 
caps, the bodices, the cloth and silk doublets and 
robes, and the furred cloak, and shoes and stockings, 
and the golden ornaments, and the bed and other white 
linen, all in double proportion — and, God preserve 
us, finally the baby-clothes and the cradle also. You 
will be compelled to wield your hammer merrily in 
the workshop, and will be too much occupied to be able 
to make the necessary preparations, and your old 
butcher kinsman will stand you in good stead. 

To strike out one half of this formidable list, Alf 
related to him how he had come by his second bride. 

' Heigh ! surely ! let us see ! ' exclaimed Gerhard : 
' the child's conduct pleases me very much. To be 
sure it is a singular circumstance, and the prophet 
might make various objections to it if it were made 
known to him; but I rejoice heartily that it has afforded 
you an opportunity to obtain the maiden ; who, I hon- 
estly confess to you, was the one of the two sisters 
whom I always wished you might have. She has an 
angel's heart. Eliza is not bad ; but she has an 
imperious domineering spirit, and will often warm 
your head for you ; particularly if the little Clara 
should in time excite an interest in your heart.' 

Alf 's asseverations, that he could be in no danger of 
so great an evil, were drowned by the noise and cries 
of an immense multitude of people who crowded the 
streets on their return from the market place. 



THE ANABAPTIST. 265 

' There has been another public day,' grumbled 
Gerhard, looking through the window ; ^ and so it goes 
on continually. They crowd to the public meetings 
and make much noise with their debates ; but nothing 
is effected for the general good, and meanwhile the 
bishop is constantly diminishing the limits within 
which he has enclosed us ; so that we shall soon be 
unable to go outside the city walls. I am heartily tired 
of the whole business. So long as my oxen hold out, 
and I can drive them to our pasture, so long will I look 
on ; but when that ends, God will forgive my sins if I 
become an episcopalian as well as others.' 

'Hush, kinsman!' cried Alf, who that moment 
caught a glimpse of the duodecemvir Dilbek, passing 
by the street window. 

Gerhard clapped his hands upon *his mouth as the 
tailor danced into the shop and embraced the stout 
butcher with friendly warmth. 

' I greet thee dear brother and colleague ! ' cried he 
in ecstasy. 

* Colleague ? ' murmured Gerhard, turning himself 
again to his sausage table. ' We are not so far.' 

' What did I say,' cried Dilbek, slapping Alf upon 
the shoulder : * what did I say to you on our way 
towards Munster ? ' 

* Your conversation has not so much weight with 
me as to cause me to mark or remember it,' answered 
Alf, peevishly. 

' 1 said,' declaimed Dilbek, ' give to our prophet, 
our great Johannes, the world, and he would govern 
23 



266 TALES FROM THE GERMAN. 

it in fine style. Now, the commencement is made. 
Johannes the First, has this day become king over 
Zion, otherwise called Munster.' 

* King ! ' cried Alf and Gerhard in a breath. 

* King,' repeated Dilbek-. ' And he has obtained 
the honor in his usually sly way. Early this morning 
he caused us, the twelve judges, to be called to his 
house. ^ Thus saith the Lord^' declared he to us ; 
' Even as I aforetime have taken Saul and after him 
David, from tending their sheep, and made them kings 
over my people, so set I Johannes Bockhold, my 
prophet, to be king over Zion.' 

'King!' sighed Alf inaudibly, and once again 
thought with bitter repentance of Tuiskoshirer's 
crown. 

' Honestly to confess it/ pursued the chattering Dil- 
bek, ' this declaration was not much to our taste, as it 
lessened our official authority, and we had much to 
urge against it ; but there we struck the wrong chord. 
' Ye short sighted men ! ' cried the prophet ; ' must I 
not take this office upon myself against my will ? 
Eather would I drive horses and oxen, did I not feel 
myself irresistibly drawn by the hand of God. There- 
fore down, instantly; — resign your offices and do 
homage to your king.' 

' The man has a methodical madness in depriving 
people of offices and honors,' growled Gerhard, vexed 
by his reminiscences. 

' Still we were not satisfied,' continued Dilbek ; 
' and as we knew of no other expedient, we referred 



THE ANABAPTIST. 267 

the whole matter to the people. That, however, did 
not help us. While Johannes labored with us, that 
withered old fox, Tuiskoshirer, wrought upon the 
people ; and as we judges in a body accompanied the 
prophet to the market-place, the little man came to meet 
us there with a large naked sword, which he presented 
to Johannes, saying in a howling voice, ' In the name 
of God I give to thee, Johannes, the kingly dignity : 
govera thy people well ! Long live the king of 
Zion ! shouted the multitude with one voice, while 
we judges were standing and looking as though the 
butter had fallen from our bread. His kingly 
majesty, however, permitted mercy to prevail over 
right, and advanced a part of us to high honors ; 
graciously remembering his old fellow laborers in God's 
kingdom. Knipperd oiling is raised from the office of 
executioner to be governor of the city, Varend Rothman 
is the royal orator, I am lord steward, four of the 
twelve judges have been made royal counsellors, and 
in you, sir Gerhard, have I the honor and pleasure of 
greeting the royal treasurer.' 

' No jokes !' blustered the butcher, whilst his full- 
moon face, lighted up by joy, once more exhibited a 
glistening crimson. 

* I should be ashamed of myself,' said Dilbek, ' to 
jest in an unseemly manner with one of the high 
officers of the kingdom of Zion.' 

' These incessant changes and innovations are almost 
enough to turn one's brain,' said Gerhard, while Alf 



268 TALES FROM THE GERMAN. 

was pouring water upon his hands with which he 
carefully washed his face and arms. 

At the same time Dilbek continued : ' I bring to the 
lord treasurer the invitation of his majesty to repair 
immediately to the royal palace, to receive further 
commands.' 

' My black dress suit, Susanna ! ' cried Gerhard, 
looking into the sitting room ; ' my mantle, my plumed 
cap, my golden chain and sword ! ' 

' Is your name nevertheless still called Kippenbrock ?' 
asked Alf, significantly, by way of reminding his fickle 
kinsman of his former protestations. 

' Hold your tongue ! ' cried the new treasurer, as 
with inconceivable celerity (notwithstanding his cor- 
pulency) he encased himself in the official robes 
which his wife with joyful surprise had brought him. 

* If it be agreeable to you, my lord steward,' said 
Gerhard to Dilbek, ' I will now accompany you to the 
king's majesty.' 

' I commend myself to you, lady treasurer,' said 
Dilbek with a profound bow to the butcher's wife, and 
the two lords of the new kingdom departed. 

' Now is Munster indeed wholly mad,' said Alf, 
' and my worthy kinsman with the rest. If I were 
only so myself, I should feel better than I now do in 
my clear moments.' 



CHAPTER XIIL 



About mid-day some time afterwards, Alf came 
from his workshop to the parlor. The dinner already- 
smoked upon the table ; but his two elected brides 
were standing at the window eagerly examining 
some pieces of money which Tuiskoshirer was showing 
to them. Alf approached the group. 

' The gold and silver money which the new^ king 
has caused to be coined,' said Tuiskoshirer in a 
friendly and honied tone, laying a couple of pieces 
in his hand. Alf read on the reverse : 

' The Word has become flesh and dwells amongst 
* us. Whosoever is not born of water and of the Spirit 
' cannot enter into the kingdom of God. One king 
' over us, one God, one Faith, one Baptism. At 
'Munster, 1534.' 

' That is God's government, may if soon extend 
over the whole world ! ' sighed Tuiskoshirer, most 
religiously rolling up his eyes. 

' Under these kings we shall soon arrive at the 
pinnacle of prosperity!' exclaimed Eliza, turning 
23^ 



270 TALES FROM THE GERMAN. 

over the money in Alf 's hand. On the other side, 
the wild inspired face of .the prophet, in his kingly- 
dress, boldly cut and well resembling the original, 
presented itself to the eyes of the beholder. 

Alf looked upon the wild and passionate eyes of 
the presentment, which seemed almost to roll in the 
masterly impression, and, mentally recurring to the 
pitiless human butchery with which the prophet had 
commenced the exercise of power, shudderingly cast 
the money upon the table. 

Eliza hastily took up the largest piece to gaze once 
more upon the crowned figure. ' Yes,' she finally 
exclaimed, forgetting herself, ' that is a king for the 
whole world or none.' 

' What is the matter with you, Eliza?' asked Alf, 
with surprise. ' You have never before spoken of 
the prophet with such partiality.' 

' Crowns make beautiful ! ' whispered Tuisko- 
shirer, with a malicious laugh, and at that instant 
lord steward Dilbek rushed into the room. 

' To the windows, children, if 3^ou wish to see 
something very particularly magnificent. The king is 
making his first tour through the city on horseback, 
and will immediately pass this way.' 

* The king?' asked Eliza with joyful surprise, a 
deeper and more beautiful crimson suffusing her face 
as she hastened out of the room. 

' What can all this mean ? ' sighed Alf, looking a 
moment after her, and then stepping to the window. 



THE ANABAPTIST. 271 

Nearer and nearer sounded the cry, ' Hail king of 
Zion ! ' from the dense multitude who preceded the 
royal procession through the streets. 

'Now give attention, — here comes the procession,' 
cried Dilbek. Already were heard the snorting and 
neighing of the first of the king's horses. At the 
head of the procession came four pages, in costly 
gold-embroidered velvet garments ; a naked sword 
w4th a golden hilt, Tuiskoshirer's crown upon an 
open bible, the golden globe (emblem of imperial 
power), and two crossed swords, borne by lords and 
gentlemen, followed. 

' That beautiful, light-haired boy who bears the 
great sword, is the bishop's owm son,' whispered 
Dilbek to Alf, who recognized in the two foremost 
pages the victims he had torn from the tiger claws of 
the ferocious Matthias. 

' Poor youths,' said he, ' hardly may I rejoice that 
I saved your miserable lives, since this compulsory 
servile duty rendered to your father's deadly enemy ,^ 
must destroy the Spirit ; which is a far greater evil 
than the destruction of the body.' 

Now came, snorting and prancing, the dapple-grey 
charger that bore the king. The fair youth, who 
found himself quite at home in his high station, 
presented in his princely attire a truly majestic ap- 
pearance. High white ostrich feathers waved over 
the jeweled ornaments of his purple cap. Through 
the slashed folds of his gold-embroidered over-dress 
appeared the under garment of purple velvet, trimmed 



272 TALES FROM THE GERMAN. 

with gold lace. The ermine mantle which floated 
down upon the golden saddle cloth of the noble 
steed, completed the beautiful tout- ensemble^ and Alf 
himself, notwithstanding his inward dislike of the 
prophet, couli hardly conceal his admiration. 

* Is it not true, that dress makes the man ? ' trium- 
phantly whispered the lord steward to him. * All this 
is the work of my ingenious needle. For three nights 
I have not been in bed, — in which time I directed 
the execution of all the difficult portions of the work. 
Now, God be praised ! every thing has prospered 
with me, and I want to see, who will recognize the 
mass-dress out of which I have put it all together.' 

Meanwhile the king had passed by. Behind him 
came governor Knipperdolling and treasurer Kippen- 
brock, superbly mounted. Twelve yeomen of the 
guard, clothed in the royal livery, ash-color and green, 
upon princely horses with golden saddles, brought up 
the rear. The procession now halted a moment. 
Alf leaned farther out of the window to see what 
had occurred. He just then perceived that the king 
was bowing with indescribable grace to the fair Eliza, 
who, to see the better, had stationed herself before 
the house door. In sweet confusion the graceful girl 
returned the royal greeting, and, as the prince finally 
rode on after the bearers of the regalia, looked long 
and earnestly after him. 

' This is a sudden and wonderful change ! ' ex- 
claimed Alf, angrily. * I see well that I must 
celebrate my nuptials to-morrow ; if, indeed they are 
ever to be celebrated.' 



THE ANABAPTIST. 273 

* Hadst thou accepted my offer, brother,' said 
Tuiskoshirer, in a tone of friendly reproach, ' thou 
wouldst have spared thyself this, and who knows 
how many more afflictions.' 

Followed by Dilbek, he went forth. Alf remained, 
in a pensive mood, thoughtlessly playing with the 
coins which had been left upon the table. ' Yes, 
truly,' murmured he at length, with bitterness, ' he 
who dares to coin money is held in higher considera- 
tion than he who is obliged to receive it in the way 
of business.' 

The gentle Clara then approached him. ' Do not 
be angry with my sister,' said she, entreatingly, in 
her kind way. ^ Her heart is good in the main, and 
she will soon repent of an error into which she has 
been led by her vanity and pride.' 

* Good hearted child ! ' exclaimed Alf, affected by 
the faithful intercession of the rejected one ; ' why 
has not that ungrateful girl thy heart and soul, or 
thou her beautiful exterior ? Then nothing would 
have been wanting to my happiness ! ' He went out ; 
and Clara retired to her chamber, where she secretly 
and bitterly wept over the well intended but deeply 
wounding eulogium of the beloved vouth. 



CHAPTER XIV. 

The next morning Alf returned from a visit to the 
royal orator Rotliman, with whom, to make an end at 
once of all apprehensions, he had arranged that his 
baptism and his marriage with both of the sisters 
should take place that afternoon. As he approached 
Tnitlinger's house he was not a little astonished to 
find some of the yeomen of the guard, in the green 
and ash-colored livery, before the house door, holding 
some saddle horses. A milk white palfrey with costly- 
trimmings and a purple gold-embroidered covering, 
particularly attracted his attention. Anxious to learn 
what it all meant, he walked into the parlor, where 
he encountered Tuiskoshirer and the lord steward 
Dilbek, in their court dresses. 

' Hail, hail I prosperity has befallen thee, my 
brother ! ' cried the little prophet, ardently embracing 
him. ' Even as Abraham was accounted worthy of 
being commanded to olier to the Lord the most 
beloved object which he possessed upon earth, so 
likewise art thou also elected and favored among 
thousands : not merely to present, but really and truly 



THE ANABAPTIST. 275 

to offer up, thy heart upon the altar of duty to thy 
king and lord.' 

' Madness seems to catch early in the morning,' 
sighed Alf peevishly, ' and I cannot understand a 
word of all this. Both of you* being gentlemen, you 
have nothing to neglect, and have leisure to spend 
the day as you please. I, however, am a handicrafts- 
man, who must labor for my livelihood ; therefore 
tell me in short plain words what you want of me, 
so that I may give you a proper answer and then go 
to my workshop.' 

* Thy answer, my good fellow, is of very little 
consequence,' replied Tuiskoshirer with a malicious 
laugh. ' We await our answer from the worthy 
maiden Eliza, to whom we are sent by our all- 
merciful king to request her to become his third wife 
and queen of Zion.' 

' My God ! ' stammered Alf, becoming deathly pale 
and leaning against the wall for support. 

' It cannot be helped now, my friend,' whispered 
the lord steward to him ; * therefore submit with a 
good grace to what must at any rate happen ; so that 
you may hereafter be able to claim a recompense for 
your ready acquiescence.' 

' Has Eliza already consented ? ' asked Alf, with 
tremulous lips. 

' She has retired to her chamber,' answered Tuis- 
koshirer, ' to take counsel of the Spirit. As soon 
as she comes forth we shall all be enlightened as to 
her decision.' 



276 TALES FROM THE GERMAN. 

* No, no I ' cried Alf, wringing his hands, 'nature 
and love have bound us too closely ; she cannot 
leave me.' 

Meanwhile the chamber door flew open and the 
beautiful Eliza appeared. At the first glance she 
was not recognized by Alf. A dress embroidered 
with silver and fastened with a jewelled girdle, 
rustled about her slender and fascinating figure ; her 
bosom and arms sparkled with the richest gems, and 
from her dark locks arose, meteor-like, a radiant 
diadem. 

' Hail to our queen Eliza ! ' cried Tuiskoshirer 
and Dilbek, sinking upon their knees before her 
majestic form. 

' The Spirit has decided,' said Eliza, giving them 
her hand to kiss. ' I have listened to its voice. 
Conduct me to my king and husband.' 

' Eliza ! ' cried Alf, in boundless sorrow, stepping 
before the false fair one. 

'Thou here, Alf?' said she, with some slight 
agitation. ' I would willingly have spared thee the 
pain of this parting.' 

' Thou art my promised bride, my wife in the sight 
of God ! ' shrieked he, despairingly. ' Thou canst not, 
thou darest not leave me !' 

' Before the great affairs of the world, the little 
interests of private and humble life must yield,' 
answered Eliza pathetically. ' The king of Zion 
needs me, that my kiss may sweeten the wearisome- 
ness of governing. How then can I be so selfish as 



THE ANABAPTIST. 277 

to regard the bands which previously connected me 
with thee ? The people of Israel have a claim upon 
me paramount to thine, and joyfully I go to fulfil my 
exalted duties in obedience to the voice of the Spirit.' 

' No, thou hast never loved me ! ' exclaimed Alf. 

' I was always well disposed towards thee,' stam- 
mered the new queen, affected by sudden emotion. 
Soon however recovering herself, she said to him in 
the tone of a mistress, * when I am seated upon Zion's 
throne you may safely rely upon my favor.' 

She now quickly took Dilbek's proffered arm and 
hastened forth wuth him, without giving a single 
glance backward. Tuiskoshirer, however, stopped 
long enough to ask the astonished and bewildered 
Alf, ' dost thou not now repent, my brother, that 
thou rejectedst my proposition ? ' — and then followed 
the pair. 

' Woman's love and woman's truth ! ' indignantly 
exclaimed the unhappy youth, seizing his dark brown 
locks with powerless rage. 



24 



CHAPTER XV. 



At Clara's request the previously arranged mar- 
riage was postponed. Alf 's baptism, also, for which 
his desire daily decreased, had not yet taken place. 
The pretext for the delay of both ceremonies was 
the changes which had been occasioned in Trutlin- 
ger's house by Eliza's sudden elevation. In conse- 
quence of the daily increasing disorder and confusion 
in Munster these omissions were not noticed by any 
body; and half the city, who, since the polygamy 
ordinance of the twelve judges, were living unre- 
strainedly with their newly selected partners, saw 
nothing- amiss in Alf and the little Clara's followinof 
the general example. They lived together, quiet and 
retired, like orphan brother and sister ; and it became 
for Alf quite a soothing custom to extract consolation 
and encouragement, under his bitter disappointment, 
from the mild and friendl}^ eyes of Clara. The 
maiden also, now that she no longer felt the yoke 
of her proud sister, and no longer saw the beloved 
youth in the arms of another, began to recover her- 
self, and gradually resumed her florid complexion, so 



THE ANABAPTIST. 279 

that Alf contemplated her with increasing pleasure 
from day to day ; but the maiden kept her love for 
him deeply buried in her own chaste bosom, and 
closely guarded her eyes and lips lest they should 
betray her heart. Her deportment towards Alf, how- 
ever, was always kind and affectionate, and she 
assiduously endeavored to anticipate all his wants. 
This peaceful mode of life, also restored to her mind 
a portion of that serenity which had gladdened her 
earlier- and happier days. Already were her softly 
tinged cheeks graced by frequent smiles ; her fine 
blue eyes, Avhich formerly always looked through a 
veil of tears towards heaven or upon the ground, 
now often sparkled with a playful archness which 
rendered the thoughtful maiden doubly charming ; 
and from her lips escaped many a pleasing light- 
hearted jest. Alf, wondering at the change which 
had taken place, could hardly turn his eyes away 
from her ; and, as a natural consequence, the wound 
which Eliza's unfaithfulness had made in his heart was 
daily less and less felt. 

While the storm of wild passions began to subside 
in the narrow circle in which Alf and Clara moved, 
the whirlwind which menaced the state was rushing 
and roaring constantly nearer and nearer. The 
frivolities and horrors, which the anabaptists had up 
to this period enacted under the shield of a fanatical 
schism, had excited the indignation of the virtuous 
and intelligent portion of the people throughout Ger- 
many. Disregarding all existing diiTerences upon 



280 TALES FROM THE GERMAN. 

Other subjects, catholics and protestants united in the 
determination that their misrule should no longer be 
suffered ; and that if neither the deceivers nor de- 
ceived would listen to christian instruction and mild 
admonition, there was no other course left but to 
root them out with the sword. The Ehenish provin- 
ces held a convention at Coblentz, at which John 
Frederick, the Lutheran electoral prince of Saxony, 
voluntarily appeared. At this convention it was 
agreed to furnish the bishop of Munster three hun- 
dred cavalry and three thousand foot soldiers, as 
auxiliaries against his rebellious subjects. The 
brave Ulrich, count Oberstein, held the command of 
the forces and directed the siege. 

Yet Munster 's walls, towers and ditches were, 
through the providence of the prophets (who, in this, 
acted with great foresight,) in such excellent condition, 
and the fanatical garrison exhibited every where so 
much watchfulness and spirit, that Oberstein was 
convinced, that a storm attempted under these cir- 
cumstances might indeed conduct his soldiers to 
butchery but would not accomplish his object. Ac- 
cordingly, after the attempt to enter the city by 
treason from within had been frustrated, the com- 
mander contented himself with closely investing it 
on all sides and cutting off its supplies. The light 
minded people troubled themselves very little about 
this investment of their city, at first, as the conse- 
quences were not immediately felt ; but no sooner 
did the scarcity of provisions become so pressing that 



THE ANABAPTIST. 281 

the public tables spread by order of the king- could 
no longer be supplied, and the people actually began 
to feel hunger, than their spirits began to sink, and 
here and there murmurings and complaints were 
heard. These complaints, to be sure, were made 
covertly, from fear of the iron sceptre which weighed 
upon the necks of the free and privileged anabaptists ; 
but nevertheless they reached the ears of the king, 
who saw that something must be done, however 
unwillingly, in conformity with the example of his 
bold predecessor ; and he therefore determined to 
try how far fanaticism and cunning, without courage, 
would answer the purpose. Besides, he was desirous 
of ridding himself of some of the prophets, who were 
disposed to play the Samuel to his Saul, and sought 
to relieve him of the cares of government. To reach 
all these objects with one blow, he devised a new 
piece of jugglery, which did honor at least to his 
practical knowledge of stage effect. 



24^ 



CHAPTER XVI. 



While from the cathedral yard the trumpet blasts 
sounded through the streets as if they were blowing 
for the last judgment, Hanslein rushed into Alf 's shop 
in complete armor. * How, comrade, not yet in arm- 
or ? ' cried he. ' Arm thyself and thy people quickly. 
The whole community is called together to-day, and 
none should fail to be present.' 

'Is the enemy already at the gates?' asked Alf, 
busily equipping himself. 

' Not quite, this time,' answered Hanslein. ' I 
hope, too, that the ceremonies of to-day will go 
off peaceably. We may, however, expect important 
occurrences. The prophet Tuiskoshirer has com- 
manded the king to hold the sacrament of the Lord's 
supper at the cathedral, and then send out his apos- 
tles to all parts of the world. The last thought is 
not so bad ; for the bishop has us enclosed within 
such narrow limits, that if the eloquence of our orators 
does not succeed in bringing us speedy help from 
without, it will soon be time to be thinking of a 
decent capitulation.' 



THE ANABAPTIST. 283 

' As long as our walls stand,' said Alf, ' and we 
are able to use our weapons, I do not fear for the 
city.' 

' That is bravely spoken,' said Hanslein, * but I 
have already perceived evidences that the people 
begin to grow hungry. When starvation once com- 
mences, it will be easy to calculate how long we can 
keep the city, and when the strong hands in which 
you trust will become powerless. So much do I 
know of the state of affairs, that I am determined 
this very day to cut off my connection with this place, 
and seek an opportunity to save myself quietly before 
the closing of the gates. A good cat always finds a 
loop-hole, and, if I may take the liberty, I wish to 
give you a friendly invitation to accompany me in my 
evasion. By heavens, it is surely better to be off in 
time, than to stay and starve here, or in the end to 
become too intimately acquainted with the tender 
mercies of his reverence's bailiff,' 

During this conversation Hanslein, with Alf and 
his men had arrived at the church yard, through the 
whole of which were placed immensely long tables, 
covered with white cloths. Upon these tables the 
royal pages were serving up smoking flesh to the 
great satisfaction of the men of Munster, who, to the 
number of four thousand stout hearts, in complete 
armor, their hungry stomachs tightly compressed 
under their coats of mail, were standing by. 

The king now appeared in majestic dignity, wear- 
ing a short silk body coat instead of his royal robes. 



284 TALES FROM THE GERMAN. 

At a signal from him the servants placed the people 
at the tables. After a short prayer, full of unction, 
he nodded graciously to the multitude and the repast 
began. 

After the first course had been consumed, the 
roasted meats were removed, and the flagons began 
to circulate. 

* This is a strange sort of a holy supper,' whispered 
Alf to Hanslein, as he passed a full jug to him. 

' It appears to be only the introduction,' whispered 
Hanslein in answer. ' It is a sort of love feast, such 
as was customary with the old christians. Have but 
a little patience, the best is yet to come.' 

No sooner were the meats gone, than the king 
again approached the assembly. He was accompani- 
ed by two pages of honor, w^ho brought the holy 
bread upon golden plates. ' Take and eat,' said he, 
with earnest solemnity, ' in commemoration of the 
Lord's death!' Thus saying, he went through the 
long ranks, breaking the bread to every man, who 
received it with great devotion. Hanslein, who best 
knew the worthiness of the new high priest, was not 
able to suppress a satirical laugh, when his turn 
came. After the king, followed the first queen, 
the beautiful widow of Matthias, in a simple white 
dress, the golden chalice in her hand, accompanied 
bv the second and third queens, who brought golden 
vessels of wine after her. 

As she came to Alf for the purpose of presenting 
the chalice to him, she started back in soft confusion, 
surprised at the beauty of the youth, whose dark 



THE ANABAPTIST. 285 

curling locks contrasted finely with his blooming face 
and true German eyes. Alf, also, paralysed by the 
appearance of such wonderful beauty as he had 
never before seen, remained motionless. Here were 
more than Eliza's and Clara's united charms, and the 
tout-ensemhle seemed to approach perfection. Large, 
full and voluptuous, an ideality in form, arose her 
stately figure. Her queenly bosom, upon which her 
brown locks were restlessly waving, shamed the 
whiteness of her dress ; and her alabaster neck was 
surmounted by a cherub head, whose deep blue in- 
terrogating eyes spoke so plainly of soft wishes and 
glowing desires, that Alf 's senses were wrapped in a 
flame. 

' Take and drink ! ' murmured the sw^eet vision, 
presenting the chalice with trembling hands. The 
youth eagerly drained it, while his eyes were immov- 
ably fixed upon the dispenser, who was so disturbed by 
his gaze that she forgot the last words of the ritual, 
and, covered with crimson blushes, proceeded to his 
next neighbor. As Eliza, who followed her, rustled 
by Alf 's seat, she gave him a strange look with those 
eyes which in former times had made him so happy. 
There was much in that glance — repentance, grief, 
rage and jealousy — while through the whole was yet 
to be discerned a glimpse of her former love ; but 
the impression, which that glance made upon Alf, was 
not strong enough to withdraw his attention from the 
first queen, and he followed her, as she went along 
the ranks, with gleaming eyes. 

At that moment his friend Hanslein passed his 



286 TALES FROM THE GERMAN. 

hand over his eyes, and said in an under tone, ' forget 
not my brother, that it is the first queen after whom 
you are gazing, and that our lord the king allows no 
jesting in such affairs.' 

* Let him come and call me to account ! ' blustered 
Alf. * I will so defend myself, that of a thousand ques- 
tions he shall not answer one. Already in possession 
of the masterpiece of the universe, and able to make 
his selection from all the beauty of Munster, he has 
yet torn my promised bride from my heart, like the 
merciless rich man in the bible, who, despite his 
numerous flocks, must rob his poor neighbor of his 
onl}^ lamb, to satisfy his wicked appetite.' 

In the hymn of praise, with the singing of which by 
the whole assembly the festival was closed, the com- 
plaints of the youth were lost, until with much difficulty 
Hanslein finally succeeded in assuaging his anger. 

The king now once more presented himself before 
the multitude ; this time in full regal attire, with all 
the insignia of his high office, and surrounded by his 
insignia bearers and guards. With a loud voice he 
asked the people whether they were prepared to fulfil 
the will of God, and to live and die for the faith. 
Like the murmuring of the ocean before a storm, a 
loud awful * Aye ! ' roared through the human mass 
standing there. 

Then from behind the king, pressed forward a new 
prophet, named Wahrendorf. ' Thus saith the Lord,' 
cried he with a glowing fanatical enthusiasm : ' choose 
a number from among my people of Zion, and let them 



THE ANABAPTIST. 287 

go out to all the ends of the earth, to work miracles and 
do my work publicly before all people. Whoever 
receives this command and obeys it not, shall die the 
death.' 

The prophet then drew forth a scroll from his 
bosom, and hastened to read the names of the new 
missionaries. The prophet Tuiskoshirer drew near to 
the reader with his usual knavish smile, to listen ; nod- 
ding his head exultingly as the names of some of his oppo- 
nents were read ; but when he heard Wahrendorf cry, 
' John Tuiskoshirer I ' as if astounded by a clap of 
thunder the little withered man shrunk within himself 
and turned his red glowing eyes upon the king. ' I, 
also, deceived!' murmured he to himself. 'The 
villain shall not obtain his victory easily.' 

' Thou errest, my brother ! ' howled he to Wahren- 
dorf: ' and mistakest the word of man for the voice of 
the Spirit. The night before the last I had a vision, 
in which I was commanded to remain in Zion to guard 
these flocks from their adversaries.' 

* Silence ! ' thundered the king. * At this moment 
has the father entrusted to me an important duty, for 
the execution of v;hich I must prepare,' and, beckoning 
to his guards, they dragged before him a mercenary 
soldier in chains. 

' This unhappy man,' said the king solemnly and 
significantly, ' has, like a second Judas, been planning 
treason against Zion, and has publicly manifested his 
wicked intentions through disobedience to the com- 
mandments of the Spirit. His blood be upon his own 
head.' 



288 TALES FROM THE GERMAN. 

The king's sword swung, the head of the victim fell, 
and the horrible man stepped directly before Tuisko- 
shirer with the bloody sword in his hand and asked 
him, ' what hast thou particularly to say to this assem- 
bly, my brother ? ' 

' That I bow myself under the hand of the Lord,' 
tremblingly answered Tuiskoshirer, and Wahren- 
dorf proceeded to read the list of names to the end. 

There were named, in the whole, eight and twenty 
missionaries. The king dispersed them toward Osna- 
bruck, Coesfeld, Warendorf and Soest. * Forsake 
every thing,' he admonished them, ' fear nothing, and 
promulgate the faith.' * Amen ! ' cried the multitude, 
as they departed from the cathedral. 



CHAPTER XVII. 



Alf was sitting in the twilight near the good 
Clara, narrating to her at full length the singular 
proceedings at the cathedral, at which he had been 
present, when his friend Hanslein entered in a state 
of great excitement. 

' How much can be made of a good-for-nothing 
fellow ! ' cried he. ' Would you ever have thought, 
brother, that I was a block out of which a duke could 
have been carved ? ' 

' Duke ! ' asked Alf in astonishment, supposing that 
he must have heard falsely. 

'A duke! nothing less!' laughingly answered 
Hanslein. * The king's majesty has become a little 
anxious about his personal safety in the midst of his 
trusty subjects; and he no longer considers his dear 
life entirely secure among them. He has therefore 
divided Zion into twelve districts and appointed a duke 
for each, from among his trustiest supporters ; and he, 
with an adequate military force, is to watch over the 
order and repose of his district and smother every 
disturbance at its birth. Having become such a thing, 
I beg of you to show me all proper respect.' 
25 



290 TALES FROM THE GERMAN. 

' What new experiment will not this wicked king 
try in my poor native city ? ' sighed Alf. 

' This lamentation comes from sheer envy,' said 
Hanslein, jestingly, ' because you are not created 
a duke. Make yourself easy, however ; for you also 
are raised to high honors. The king has named you 
commander of the life guards, and I bring you his 
gracious comm.ands that you forthwith appear before 
him. You will commence duty even to-day, that the 
timid tailor may this night sleep under the safeguard 
of your good sword.' 

' I commander of the life guards ! ' repeated Alf, 
moodily. ' How can it have happened that the king 
selected me ? ' 

' That has happened as many other things do in this 
vrorld,' answered Hanslein, with a significant smile. 
' I can explain all these things satisfactorily to myself, 
and I consider that you, with the command of the 
guards, have drawn a much better prize than I with 
my dukedom. Enjoy your good fortune with circum- 
spection.' So saying he departed. 

' Strange ! ' said Alf, buckling on again his scarcely 
laid aside coat of mail. ' Strange ! ' cried he again, 
as he girded on his sword, when his eye fell upon a 
small fresh wine spot on the neck-piece of his armor. 
The charming queen with the chalice instantly stood 
before his mind's eye, and an obscure suspicion of a 
connection between the recent occurrence and his 
present elevation sent a burning blush to his face. 
To conceal it, he pressed the knight's helmet low 



THE ANABAPTIST. 291 

down upon his forehead, which he had sought out as 
becoming his new office, extended his hand to the good 
Clara for a hasty farewell, and with winged strides 
proceeded toward the royal palace. 

A royal page conducted him immediately to the 
king, who advanced to meet him as graciously as if 
he had been born to a throne. 

' The affair of the bishop's camp has proved thee to 
be an able warrior,' said the king, w4th a dignity 
becoming his station ; ' I owe thee some recompense 
for a great loss ; and thou hast moreover been so much 
commended on all sides, that I have determined to 
bring thee nearer to my person. Thou shalt hence- 
forth lead my body guard as its commander ; so that 
the head upon which the welfare of Zion depends may 
at least sleep in safety.' 

Alf suggested some doubts of his fitness for the 
office. 

' No qualifications are needed,' replied the king, 
' but watchfulness, courage and truth. I desire no 
oath from you. Christ says, ' Let your communication 
be yea, yea ; nay, nay : for whatsoever is more than 
these cometh of evil.' Give me therefore the hand 
grip of an honest man, that you will be my faithful 
guard.' 

Alf reluctantly gave his right hand to the king, for 
he shuddered at the idea of connecting himself per- 
sonally with this man — he shuddered at touching a 
hand that had shed so much blood. 



292 TALES FR03I THE GERMAN. 

' The yeomen of the guard are already assigned to 
you,' proceeded the king; 'but now it is fitting that 
you be introduced to the first queen ; ' and he signified 
to him by a gracious nod that the audience was over. 
Alf proceeded with a beating heart towards the 
apartments of the queen. 

' Walk in ! walk in ! ' cried a silvery voice in the 
room, at the door of which Alf 's name and dignity 
had been announced by the lady in waiting. He 
stepped in. Upon an elevated and gilded chair, in 
full dignity, sat the queen. He was so much dazzled 
by her beauty that he scarcely observed the other two 
queens, who were sitting upon less elevated seats on 
each side of her. 

' It is you, young man,' said the enchantress, in the 
sweetest tones, ' whom henceforth we shall have to 
thank for the safety of our days and the tranquillity 
of our nights.' 

Alf bowed in silence. 

' Only be careful continued the queen, with an 
alluring smile, * that you do not rob the ladies of the 
palace of their repose, whom it is your duty to guard.' 

The embarrassed Alf could not find presence of 
mind to enable him to answer, and queen Eliza sprang 
from her seat and hastened to the window. 

* You are already married ? ' asked the queen. 

' Only engaged — I am — I was — and am half way 
so yet,' stammered Alf, very unintelligibly. 

' And the other half ? ' asked the queen, mischiev- 



THE ANABAPTIST. 293 

ously. Eliza turned her burning glance upon the floor. 

' Permit me to be silent upon that point,' said Alf, 
with becoming modesty. 

The charming woman extended her hand to him to 
kiss. 

Alf seized it hastily, and impressed upon the warm, 
yielding, velvet skin an almost endless kiss, believing 
at the same time that he felt a slight pressure from 
her taper fingers. Reading the confirmation of his 
suspicions, as he looked up, in the melting eyes of the 
lady, and forgetting every thing in the momentary 
transport, he spread out his arms as if he would have 
fallen upon her neck. 

He was rebuked however by a severe look ; but in 
contradiction to that look, the queen said to him in the 
tenderest and most friendly manner, ' we shall see 
each other again soon,' — and dismissed him. 

Intoxicated, confused, and entirely incapable of 
connected thought, the youth withdrew. 



25^ 



chapte;^ xviil 



On the following night Alf, installed in his new 
office and fully equipped, sat in an arm chair before 
the door of the royal sleeping apartments. He was 
even light!}' slumbering, and a w^ell known trio of 
beautiful Avomen led by the god of dreams were 
dancing around him, when he was dazzled by a ray 
of light which fell suddenly upon his face. He 
awoke, sprang upon his feet and drew his sword. 

' Put up your sword, brother,' w^hispered a hoarse 
voice to him ; and the worthy Tuiskoshirer, in his 
traveling cloak, with his bundle swung over his back 
and a dark lantern in his hand, stood before him. 

' What do you w^ant here ? ' quickly asked Alf. 
' Ought you not, according to the king's command, 
to have been already on your way to Osnabruck wdth 
your companion ? ' 

' Yes,' answered Tuiskoshirer, with a bitter smile, 
' so has the great king w^ho has become a severe and 
mighty lord over our heads commanded ; and the 
leaders who faithfully placed him upon the summit, 
he scornfully thrusts from him, now that he no longer 



THE ANABAPTIST. '295 

needs their aid. Luckily, he has allowed me to delay 
my departure a few hours, and a skilful head can ac- 
complish much in that time.' 

' Tell me briefly what you want of me,' said Alf, 
' and then take yourself hence, that your chattering 
may not awaken the king.' 

' God forbid ! ' hissed Tuiskoshirer. ' Who would 
awaken the sleeping tiger ? While he sleeps, at 
least, he murders not. Rather would I prolong his 
sleep into eternity.' 

' Man, what is your design ? ' exclaimed Alf, partly 
guessing his horrible intentions. 

* Thou hast already once rejected my good will,' 
answered Tuiskoshirer ; and, since this ungrateful 
bedlamite has been placed upon the throne to which 
I would have raised thee, thou must more than once 
have regretted thy folly. I have this day closely 
watched thee, and know the magnet with which thy 
apparently insensible and rugged nature is to be 
moved. Wherefore I have taken my life in my 
hand, and once more ventured into this den of mur- 
derers, to offer to thee life's sweetest blossoms, which 
none but a fool would leave unplucked when they fell 
in his path radiant with exhaling beauty. Oppose 
me not now,' begged he, as Alf was about to reply. 
* Thou shalt go with me, and see and hear for 
thyself, and then decide as may seem good to thee.' 

' Whither wouldst thou lead me ? ' asked Alf, 
drawing back. 

' Do you not suspect ? ' asked Tuiskoshirer, smil- 



296 TALES FRO 31 THE GER3IAN. 

ing ; and Alf, on whom a light suddenly began to 
dawn, delightedly followed the tempter, who led him 
through the dark, silent passage toward the apart- 
ments of the queen. 

' We have attained our object,' said Tuiskoshirer, 
on arriving before a room the door of which he opened 
with a false key. They entered and passed through 
the anti-chamber, where the waiting women were 
sleeping, to the bed-chamber of the first queen. 

' Behold I ' said Tuiskoshirer, impressively, as he 
directed the rays from his lantern upon the bed in 
which the beauteous woman was sleeping. 

Alf drew nearer. A heavenly smile played upon 
the sweet face of the queen, to which a sound sleep 
gave a yet lovelier tint of rose. Alf was about to 
rush forward, when Tuiskoshirer forcibly dragged 
him back. ' Wilt thou mar all ? ' whispered the 
prophet to him ; ' and deprive thyself of the greatest 
earthly happiness through thy impetuosity ? That 
beauteous woman shall indeed be thine ; but now is 
not the time. Such ware is to be purchased only at 
a price about which we must have some conversation. 
As yet you have only seen, now I must be heard ; 
and when you have decided, act w^th the speed and 
energy w^hich become a man about to attain the 
accomplishment of all his dearest wishes.' 

During this conversation he drew the youth through 
the rooms, closed the last with his false key, and they 
w^ent both together back to the royal anti-chamber. 
Tuiskoshirer, in whose little dull eyes twinkled a 



THE ANABAPTIST. 297 

hellish triumph, bolted the outer door on the inner 
side, motioned to Alf to walk softly, and cautiously 
opening the door of the king's bed-chamber entered 
on tiptoe, making a sign to Alf to follow. 

Alf obeyed, and both now stood before the bed 
of the king, near which, upon velvet cushions, lay 
the crown and other emblems of royalty. Tuisko- 
shirer drew aside the heavy, purple, gold-embroidered 
silk curtains, and disclosed the sleeper lying there 
w^ith open staring eyes, large drops of sweat upon 
his forehead, froth about his mouth, and clenched 
fists, — a shocking sight. 

* The king is ill and must soon awaken,' said Alf, 
apprehensively. 

' Oh no,' said Taiskoshirer, calmly. ' Since sleep 
always flies the night couch of the murderer, he 
never goes to bed without his sleeping draught. He 
cannot escape the dreams which then torment him 
undisturbedly ; and it is well, that in this life he 
should learn something of that world of spirits, which 
darkly and heavily rules over him with arm already 
outstretched for his terrible reward.' 

* Kneel down ! ' the slumberer now cried. * Down ! 
I must see blood, blood!' and he swung his right 
arm as if his death-dealing sword was at its usual 
occupation. 

' I have first shown you the reward,' said Tuisko- 
shirer, to Alf, — ' here is the deed which is to merit 
it. Here sleeps the cowardly, sensual, cold, murder- 
ous, inhuman monster. Thousands more will he yet 



298 TALES FROM THE GERMAN. 

destroy, if life and power remain to him. Can 
another word be necessary to determine your course ? 
Reject not again, for the third time, the good fortune 
which twice you have thrust from you. Here lies 
the king's sword drunk with innocent blood, — one 
determined thrust therewith, — we can bruit it abroad 
that he has committed suicide, — Munster will be 
relieved from his tyranny, — thou wilt mount the 
vacant throne, thine will be the glorious Gertrude, 
the false Eliza, and the other beauteous wives, — and 
that the crown shall stand firmly upon thy head, 
leave to the care of old Tuiskoshirer, who will give 
it to thee in the presence of the assembled multitude.' 

Alf stood there upon the narrow passage way, 
glanced with flashing eyes upon the sleeping tyrant, 
and his hand already moved towards the weapon. 

' Now strike ! ' urged Tuiskoshirer. ' Every mo- 
ment's delay will be at the expense of human life. 
Thou wilt take upon thyself all the crimes w^hich 
this wretch may in future commit, if now thou sparest 
him, through foolish tenderness.' 

The true German honesty had soon conquered in 
the pure mind of the youth. ' He has my pledge,' 
said he to himself. * Confiding in my faith he laid 
him down to sleep.' Then Alf turned to the venom- 
ous little man with all the fury which the latter, to 
satisfy his own revenge, had kindled in his breast ; 
suddenly seizing him by the nape of his neck, he 
dragged him sprawling through all the apartments 
and down the stairs, until he reached the outer door 



THE ANABAPTIST. 299 

of the palace, when he roughly sat him down. ' Go 
thy ways thither ! ' cried the youth, pointing the way 
towards Osnabruck, ' and if thou art in Munster at 
sunrise, I will expose thee to the king, that he may 
execute justice upon thee.' 

Gasping for breath and groaning with anguish, 
the foiled tempter staggered forth into the midnight 
darkness of the streets. 



CHAPTER XIX. 



MuNSTER continued to sustain herself with a reso- 
lution worthy of a better cause. At the imperial 
diet at Worms, which the Romish king Ferdinand 
opened in April, 1535, great sums were granted to 
the besieging bishop, to enable him to support the 
war ; but as the payments were made very irregu- 
larly, the scarcity of money kindled a revolt among 
the mercenary soldiery in the bishop's camp, w^ho 
would no longer serve without pay. Nor was it 
without great trouble and peril to the commander 
that the insurrection could be suppressed. With 
such troublesome troops, offensive warfare was not 
deemed prudent. Consequently, the besiegers con- 
fined themselves to the continuance of the block- 
ade, and to drawing their lines closer and closer, so 
as completely to shut up the unfortunate city and 
deprive it of supplies and assistance. 

Constantly increasing suffering in the city, was the 
consequence of this course. The poorer classes, 
obliged to subsist upon roots, herbs, bark, and leaves, 
swarmed about the king with sunken eyes and 



THE ANABAPTIST. 301 

haggard faces, whenever he passed through the 
streets in lordly dignity, and howled for bread. 
The royal courtiers thenaselves were compelled to 
accept such small portions as could be spared from 
the table where sat the king with his fourteen wives 
and principal officers. 

In vain did the bishop call upon the citizens to 
surrender the city, under promise of full pardon for 
all except the king and a few of his principal ac- 
complices. The fear of the terrible Johannes was 
stronger than the ardent desire for deliverance which 
had now arisen in many hearts. In vain did the 
landgrave of Hesse, by a special embassy to his 
brother in the faith, endeavor to bring him to reason. 
The king, to prove how much greater a man he was 
than the landgrave, refused to give audience to his 
ambassadors, and thus compelled them to leave their 
business unaccomplished. 

Meanwhile the eight and twenty prophets had 
arrived at the cities of their destination, and had 
preached their customary fanatical nonsense with 
frantic zeal. The magistrates, warned by the ex- 
ample of Munster, were vigilant and energetic. 
The brawlers were every where arrested and ques- 
tioned as to their doctrines ; and, as they stubbornly 
maintained their faith, were immediately beheaded. 
Only one of them, Heinrich Hilversum, obtained 
deliverance. He was imprisoned by the bishop of 
Munster, bought his liberty with the promise that 
he would act. as a spy in the rebel city, and returned 
26 



302 TALES FROM THE GERMAN. 

back to the king. He related how an angel had 
delivered him from imprisonment and commanded 
him to announce to the king that Amsterdam, Wesel, 
and Deventer would come under his sceptre if he 
would send more prophets there. 

These were sweet sounds to the ears of the king. 
He immediately sent out prophets, among whom were 
Johann von Seelen and Johann von Kempen, to 
those beautiful and important cities, to convert and 
win them for himself. The smooth-tongued Hilver- 
sum, however, he took into his own palace, clothed 
him in his ash-grey and green court-livery, charged 
the officers of the court to attend him, entrusted him 
with considerable sums, and, in short, confided to 
him the duty of negotiating with those from whom 
aid and assistance were expected from without. 

With these presents Hilversum went over to the 
bishop on the first convenient opportunity ; leaving a 
letter in Munster exhorting the citizens to desert the 
impostor and return to their old religion and their 
rightful lord. 

This event touched the king in the tenderest point; 
as it tended to destroy the belief in the infallibility 
of his inspiration with those who were yet able to 
see. To a portion of the inhabitants of the distressed 
city it now appeared clear, that they had become the 
slaves of a wicked impostor, who was leading them 
to destruction ; but the fear of the monster was 
stronger than this just conviction, and the king, 
comprehending that fear was the only lever now 



THE ANABAPTIST. 303 

remaining to him, made the utmost use of it, and 
thenceforth, like Draco, he wrote his laws in blood. 
No punishment milder than death awaited disobe- 
dience to the least of his commands. Alf, notwith- 
standing, in his new situation, strove to shield, defend, 
and rescue the sufferers ; yet new victims fell daily, 
and the slavish population daily trembled more and 
more before their cowardly and tyrannical tailor- 
king. 



CHAPTER XX. 



Meanwhile Alf went on, truly and honorably 
discharging the duties of his office, although, after 
the first arrangement had been effected he had given 
up the personal guard of the royal bedchamber to 
other officers, reserving to himself only a general 
nightly superintendance ; and the cruel Johannes 
passed his nights under as good a defence as if angels 
with flaming swords had guarded him. His 'office, 
however, daily called the youth to the palace, and he 
could not but perceive that the magnificent Gertrude 
often threw herself in his way. She evidently loved 
the beautiful youth as only an unprincipled woman 
can love, — and her passion had nothing to combat 
but the fear of the sultan of the harem, whose dis« 
covery of the least infidelity would have brought 
instant death upon the guilty. Yet so powerful was 
her passion that it conquered even this fear. 

At one of those intoxicating court festivals with 
which the king sought to stupify himself and those 
about him, Alf was standing to take breath after a 
brisk dance, with his hands behind him, when sud- 



THE ANABAPTIST, 305 

(lenly he felt a warm soft pressure of his right hand, 
a piece of paper heing simultaneously slipped into it, 
and a moment afterwards the first queen stepped 
forward from behind him, giving him a significant 
glance as she passed. He left the room immediately, 
and by the nearest lamp in the corridor read the 
following words : — 

' An hour after midnight, in the upper passage on 
the left ; the first door.' 

Hastening back to the dancing-hall, his glowing 
cheeks and triumphant carriage immediately be- 
trayed to the beauteous syren, that he had read and 
comprehended her billet, 

Meanwhile the midnight hour struck, Gertrude 
was suddenly attacked by a headache and suffered 
her attendants to lead her to her chamber, The king 
smilingly whispered a word to Eliza, which caused a 
flush to pass over her cheeks, and which she answered 
with downcast eyes. The assembly gradually depart- 
ed, and Alf, lost in pleasing dreams, proceeded to his 
dwelling. 

He found the devoted little Clara yet patiently wait- 
ing for him, occupying herself at the spinning wheel ; 
her now constantly bright eyes a little dimmed ; but 
whether from late watching, or weeping, or from both 
together, he could not exactly decide. 

' I began to think you were not coming home to- 
night,' said the maiden in a friendly tone, which yet 
had something of sadness in it. 

' The dancing to-night continued unusually late,' 
26^ 



306 TALES F R I\I T PI E GERMAN. 

replied Alf; casting a glance at the mirror, and 
coming to the conclusion that he was right worthy of 
the beauteous queen, he proudly pressed his richly 
plumed cap over his eyes. 

Meanwhile Clara had lighted his chamber lamp 
and handed it to him. 

' T am going out again immediately, dear Clara,' 
said Alf, with some little embarrassment. ' I came 
merely to tell 5'ou, that you might not sit up all night 
waiting for me.' 

' You are going out again ? ' asked Clara, looking 
intently at him. ' This is not your time for guard 
duty.' 

' The feast of to-day has disturbed all our arrange- 
ments,' stammered Alf with embarrassment. ' I 
must actually go to the palace once more to-night.' 

Clara seized his hand with both of hers, and with 
her mild honest eyes gave him a piercing look. His 
guilty conscience deprived him of the power to 
meet her gaze. ' Kippenbrock,' cried she, suddenly 
alarmed, ^ are you not going for some wicked pur- 
pose ? ' 

• You are already dreaming, from having watched 
so long, my child. Go to bed, pretty one,' said Alf, 
bending down to kiss the maiden as he wished her 
good night ; a friendly habit in which he had for 
some time indulged. But Clara avoided his embrace, 
saying earnestly to him, ' not this evening, dear 
Kippenbrock, all is not as it should be.' 

' You are a little simpleton I ' cried he half indig- 



THE ANABAPTIST. 307 

nantly, and hastened forth as if he wished to run 
away from the unpleasant feelings her suspicions 
had given him. As the third quarter after midnight 
struck, he stood by the stove, closely wrapped in his 
mantle, in the upper passage way of the palace, 
watching with anxious eyes, by the dim light of the 
almost expiring lamps, the first door on the left. 
Finally, the hour struck, and still no door was 
opened. 

' It is in reality a great wrong for me to be stand- 
ing here,' said Alf to himself. ' Let the king now 
be what he may, and do what he will, yet I have 
once for all acknowledged him as my lord, and this 
Gertrude is his wife. It is the duty of my office to 
preserve order and propriety in the royal palace, 
which I in intention am so vile as to violate. More- 
over, I encroach upon the rights of the good Clara, 
who so secretly and tenderly loves me, and whom I 
should look upon as my affianced bride. Did she 
but know that I was standing here waiting for the 
creaking of that door, she would weep her eyes out 
of her head ; and she even appeared to suspect some 
intrigue. Her manner toward me appeared very 
strange at my departure. Good God ! with what 
face shall I appear before her in the morning ! No ! 
it is settled, — the beautiful Gertrude shall wait for 
me in vain, and thus shall we both be spared a sin.' 



CHAPTER XXI. 



On the subsequent morning Alf was standing in 
the king's anti-chamber awaiting his commands for 
the day. There came the high bailiff Krechting, a 
raging fanatic, a true second Johannes, with some 
soldiers who were dragging along two of the royal 
pages, bound. Alf perceived by their faces, which 
hunger and affliction had paled and emaciated, that 
they were the two whom he had rescued from the 
hands of Matthias, and compassionately asked the 
bailiff what crime the poor children had committed. 

' We caught them in the outworks,' answered the 
bailiff fiercely, * as they were attempting to escape to 
their old lord, the bishop. Announce us to the king, 
brother officer.' 

' Alas ! dear lord,' said one of the boys, weeping ; 
' we have certainly done nothing ; but we could no 
longer hold out for hunger.' 

' This affair might well be overlooked,' said Alf. 
' To announce the children to the king is to lead 
them to death, — and I do not wish to take upon my 
conscience such bloodguiltiness.' 



THE ANABAPTIST. 309 

The bailiff gave him a venomous look and hastily- 
stepped into the royal apartment. He soon made a 
signal at the door, and the soldiers dragged the boys 
in after him. Immediately a loud noise was heard 
Vvdthin, — the king stormed, the boys wept and plead 
pitifully, and amidst all arose Eliza's supplicating 
voice. ' For our love's sake, Johannes, only for this 
time let mercy take the place of justice !' Simulta- 
neously were heard the lamentations of the two boys. 
Alf heard two hard falls upon the floor, and, as if 
drawn by some irresistible power, he pushed into the 
apartment. 

What horrors had been perpetrated ! The two 
boys lay dead upon the floor, the king strode before 
them with his sword drawn, and at his feet lay Eliza, 
who loosed her arms from his knees and sprang up. 
Excited by the cruelty of her husband, and by her 
having pleaded in vain against what he had done, 
the proud woman now exclaimed in the bitterest tone,. 
' I do not believe, Johannes, that our God is served 
by the calamities you have brought upon this people.' 

Krechting absolutely screamed with amazement at 
the audacious speech. The king, however, merely 
gave Eliza a cold, satanic glance, and quietly said to 
her, ' in the market-place will I answer thee upon 
that matter.' Turning then to Alf, ' let my wives 
and my whole court be summoned hither ! ' com- 
manded he him. * Also let my trumpeters and fifers 
assemble, — we would move to the market-place, 
where I have to-day to exercise my judicial office 



310 TALES FROM THE GERMAN. 

before the whole people. Thou wilt accompany me, 
Kippenbrock, with thy whole band.' 

This strange solemnity excited various evil fore- 
bodings in the mind of Alf, and with a heavy heart 
he proceeded to execute the king's commands. 



CHAPTER XXII. 



The multitude crowded the market-place, waiting 
to see what new thing was to be done there. Then 
sounded in the distance a solemn funeral march from 
the trumpets and horns, and duke Hanslein with his 
soldiers formed a wide circle to admit the king and 
his household. 

Next came the procession. After the music fol- 
lowed Alf, with a division of his guards ; then the 
king, and then'the high bailiff; between them, yet 
in her night-gown, pale and tottering, with streaming 
hair and folded hands, Eliza. After these followed 
the stately Gertrude, the other wives, and the persons 
connected with the court. Another division of the 
guards closed. 

At a signal from the king, Krechting stepped rev- 
erently back and the thirteen wives formed a circle 
about their lord and Eliza. ' Kneel down, ye pure ! ' 
thundered the king, and the circle of women fell 
upon their knees ; in an instant the king's sword 
glistened in the air and Eliza's head flew from its 
bloody trunk ! 



312 TALES FROM THE GERMAN. 

'Accursed murderer,' screamed Alf, frantic with 
grief and terror at the wholly unexpected death of 
the once so well beloved woman, and sprang forward 
with high waving sword to hew down the king where 
he stood. The faithful Hanslein caught his upraised 
arm. ' Good colonel,' cried he, ' it was only yester- 
day that you were sick with a fever, and now the 
paroxysms have returned again. Help me, friends, to 
overpow^er him and bear him to his house where he 
can be taken care of.' 

He was seized by the guards from all sides, and 
notwithstanding his furious opposition, was soon dis- 
armed and carried away. 

' The person who has been judged has blasphemed 
the Spirit as manifested through her king and hus- 
band,' said Johannes, to the people. ' She had in a 
spiritual sense broken her marriage vows, and well 
deserved her punishment. Give to God the glory ! ' 

The remaining thirteen wives rose up and with 
clear voices sang, ' Glory to God in the highest ! ' 
The horns and the trumpets triumphantly fell in. The 
king seized Gertrude's hand and commenced a merry 
dance with her upon the open market-place. The 
other wives and the courtiers followed the high ex- 
ample. The poor infatuated people likewise joined 
in the dance and sprang actively about, notwithstand- 
ing their empty stomachs ; and from all mouths arose 
the cry of jubilee ; ' glory be to God in the highest !' 



CHAPTER XXIII. 



The disease which Hanslein had invented, in his 
well intended eagerness to save Alf, had seized him 
in good earnest. The disquiet of mind in which the 
youth had been kept through the most diverse and 
almost always terrible occurrences, — the storm, so 
every way affecting, which had lacerated the deepest 
recesses of his heart, — above all, the daily increasing 
conviction of the flagitiousness of the new doctrines to 
which he had adhered so strongly, — and the remorse 
of conscience for the part which he had acted, — all 
this had destroyed the freshness of his youthful vigor ; 
and only the tension in which his mind was kept by 
the constantly recurring horrors of every succeeding 
day, gave him the artificial support, which had hitherto 
kept him up. The last act of Johannes, the tender 
interest which Alf still felt for the fair victim, and the 
frustration of his just vengeance upon the infamous 
murderer, had weighed down the poor youth with 
resistless power, and he lay many weeks in Trutlinger's 
house in a high fever, carefully waited upon and nursed 
by the pale and pensive Clara. 
27 



314 TALES FROM THE GERMAN. 

The energies of youth finally prevailed over the 
fever. When once the crisis had passed, his strength 
returned as quickly as it had flown ; and Alf had even 
left his room for the fl.rst time, to enjoy the mild air 
and warm sun of summer, when he encountered his 
friend Hanslein, who, in spite of all resistance, cor- 
dially embraced and congratulated him on his re- 
covery. 

' Go thy w^ay ! ' said Alf, angrily. * With the 
defender of tyrants I have no more to do in this life.' 

' Always precipitate,' laughed Hanslein ; * and al- 
ways letting your heart run away with your head. It 
was ever your way when a boy. I considered for 
you better than you considered for yourself. The poor 
queen once dead, we could do nothing more to help 
her. You might indeed have destroyed the king, 
but the fanatical people would have torn you to pieces 
for it on the spot ; that would have been paying a 
greater price than his majesty's life was worth. Nor 
would Munster have gained any thing, Knipperdol- 
ling & Co. would have possessed themselves of the 
government, and it would thereby have remained the 
executioner's head quarters as before. I have there- 
fore preserved you for greater things, which, now that 
you are so well upon your legs again, we may soon 
see.' 

Alf looked inquiringly at his friend, and suffered 
himself to be led by him back to his own sitting room 
and to be seated upon a stool. 

' The affairs of Munster stand badly,' said Hanslein. 



THE ANABAPTIST. 315 

' The famine increases, and I see the moment very 
near when the unhappy people will be driven to 
despair. Succor is not to he expected. At Bolswart 
in Friesland, the strongest power of th-e anabaptists 
had been collected, and would soon have marched to 
our aid; but the governor of Friesland surrounded 
the place with his forces, and after four assaults forced 
it, putting almost the whole population to the sword. 
In Amsterdam, von Kempen and von Seelen have done 
their best to bring us aid. As the council and chief 
burghers of the cross-guild retired from the council- 
room, our people stormed the city hall, overpowered all 
who opposed them, and the burgomasters, Peter Colyn 
and Simon Bute, were left dead upon the spot ; but the 
burgomaster G.oswin Rekalf collected the citizens, a se- 
verely contested battle ensued, and our people were 
slain, or taken and executed, including poor Kempen, 
who had caused himself to be declared bishop of Amster- 
dam. Seelen exposed himself upon the tower of the 
city hall, where he was afterwards shot down and fell 
dead upon the market place. With him expired our 
last hope.' 

' Oh God, will these horrors never end ? ' sighed 
Alf, casting his eyes toward heaven. 

' Here probably soon,' said Hanslein ; * but it will 
be a fearful end. The city must shortly surrender, 
and then the lord bishop Franciscus may not treat us 
more mildly than king Johannes has hitherto done. 
I have least reason to hope for pardon then, and have 
therefore determined to go back to my old master im- 



316 TALES FROM THE GERMAN. 

mediately. I have discovered a place through which 
an escape from the city can be made. By the same 
way I trust I can lead the troops of the enemy into 
Munster, and with this secret I intend to purchase my 
peace with the bishop. Will you make the experi- 
ment with me this night ? The sentinels now upon 
the night posts sleep away their hunger and will not 
hinder us.' 

^ My father's house is a house of prayer,' said Alf, 
after musing a long time ; * but you have made it a 
den of murderers. Yes, the originally pure doctrine 
of the anabaptists might perhaps have been a glorious 
gift from the merciful hand of God ; — but the mon- 
sters, who preach it to us, have so perverted it according 
to their own wicked purposes, and shed so much blood 
in its name, that its noble image can no longer be 
recognized. A doctrine which empowers a Johannes 
to rage among mankind like a famished wolf among 
defenceless lambs, cannot come from God. I disclaim 
it. May God forgive me that I also have labored and 
fought for a cause which must have been wicked, 
since it elevated the bad and destroyed the good.' 

' Thou wilt accompany me then!' asked Hanslein, 
giving his hand a friendly pressure. 

' If Clara can and will go with us,' answered Alf. 
' I have loved her uncle, whom they shot, and cannot 
leave her behind in a city upon which all the horrors 
of war are soon to fall.' 

At that moment Clara entered the room to set be- 
fore the guest what the house afforded at a time when 



THE ANABAPTIST. 317 

provisions outweighed gold, — a cup of water and a 
slice of bread w^ith salt. 

* You come to us too confidingly, young lady,' said 
Hanslein jestingly, while he helped himself. * We 
have evil thoughts concerning you, — we have an idea 
of taking you out of Munster.' 

' Ah, would to God ! ' sighed the maiden. 

' The jest is earnest,' said Alf. * This night I and my 
friend intend to leave Munster, if you will accompany 
us, my little Clara.' 

'Through the whole world!' cried Clara with 
heartfelt fervor. ' Whom have I on earth beside 
you?' 

' So then the thing is settled,' cried Hanslein. 
' Prepare yourselves for the journey ; but do not en- 
cumber yourselves with needless baggage. No armor, 
Alf. A short sword will be sufficient for all emergen- 
cies. Clara had better put on male attire — there will 
be some places difficult to climb, and I cannot allow 
any thing that might prove an obstacle to the rapidity 
of our movements. Hold yourselves in readiness ; 
for I shall come for you precisely at midnight.' He 
departed. Intoxicated with joy at the near approach 
of her deliverance, Clara threw her arms affectionately 
around the youth and cried, ' wdthyou out of this place 
of torment, dear Alf! Now for the first time I have 
reason to hope that there is earthly happiness in store 

for me yet.' 

27# 



CHAPTER XXIV. 



Softly creeping by the sleeping sentinels, climbing 
walls and wading through ditches, the three fugitives 
proceeded in the dead of the night, until they finally 
found themselves in freedom ; and then with fresh 
confidence they moved onward toward the besiegers' 
camp fires. 

Soon a clattering of arms was heard near them, and 
a rough voice cried, * Who goes there ? ' 

* I have no desire to be caught here,' whispered 
Hanslein to Alf; 'for in that case I should get no 
credit for my voluntary return, which I particularly 
need on account of old scores. Wherefore I must 
endeavor to reach the bishop through indirect paths, 
while you boldly go straight forward.' 

' Who goes there ? ' cried the challenger much louder. 

'A friend !' answered Alf, whilst Hanslein went off 
to the right with great rapidity ; ' deserters from 
Munster ! ' and in a moment he and the trembling 
Clara were surrounded by a squad of soldiers. 

' Deserters ? ' asked the serjeant who led the squad. 
' It is a question whether that title will save your lives. 



THE ANABAPTIST. 319 

In these days a thousand Munsterers have come out, 
men, women and children, and a good part of the men 
were cut down as they came in, by the bishop's com- 
mand.' 

' It is t^e curse of these combats for opinion,' said 
Alf, sorrowfully, ' that even those, who are on the right 
side, are provoked to do wrong by the crimes of their 
opponents — and then other crimes are the conse- 
quence, until the horrible chain of wickedness is 
closed by the conversion of men into relentless de- 
stroyers, in whose breasts the voice of religion and 
mercy is stifled.' 

'• You talk it as solemnly,' sneered the serjeant, * as 
if you were one of the prophets of Munster. First of 
all give up your sword and follow us into the camp, 
together with your boy. The bishop must decide 
upon your case.' 

' I wish previously to be conducted to your field 
captain,' said Alf in a decided tone. 

' You speak as if you were our captain instead of 
our prisoner,' snarled the serjeant. * It will be neces- 
sary first to ascertain, whether the lord general will 
permit you to be brought to him. For the present, 
forward, march ! ' 

' God preserve us ! ' softly murmured the timid Clara, 
clinging closely to her protector. 

' Do not be alarmed, my little Clara,' said Alf, con- 
solingly. 'All will go well.' They proceeded with 
the soldiers rapidly towards the camp. 



CHAPTER XXV. 



A FIXE June morning was shining upon the camp, 
as Alf and Clara stood waiting with their escort before 
the tent of the commander in chief. There came out 
of the tent a tall, meagre clerg^^man, in his black 
clerical dress. He started when he saw the youth, 
and asked the serjeant, ' who are these people ?' 

' Deserters from Munster,' answered the serjeant, 
' whom we found last night. They insist upon seeing 
the general.' 

The preacher having closely scrutinized Alf, who 
stood there absorbed in his own reflections, approached 
and spoke to him, taking his hand in the most friendly 
manner. * Do I see you again as a deserter ? Now, 
God be praised, my prophecy is fulfilled ! ' 

' Reverend doctor !' cried Alf in joyful surprise, as 
he recognised the good Fabricius. 

' So, the disorders in the new Zion have become too 
great for you ? ' asked the latter. ' I only wonder that 
you had not come to the conclusion long ago, — that 
xviih your heart and head you could for so long a time 
have been a contented observer of their pagan cruelty.' 



THE ANABAPTIST. 321 

' When Germans have once become united with a 
ruler chosen by themselves, worthy sir,' answered Alf, 
' they can be disunited only by hard blows, else they 
will hang fast to him until death.' 

' The hard blows, I perceive, have been given and 
received,' said Fabricius. ' So you have again become 
one of us.' 

' With all my heart and soul,' answered Alf Avith 
great ardor. 

' We will leave the remainder of this for the con- 
fessional, where I may soon expect you,' said Fabri- 
cius. 'At present I must exert myself to prepare for 
you a good reception from the commanding general.' 

Again most cordially shaking Alf 's hand, he passed 
into the tent. Shortly afterward the youth and his 
girl-boy were bid to enter. Lord Oberstein was sitting 
with the doctor at the field table, taking his morning 
draught. 

' Come nearer ! ' commanded the general, sternly. 
' What have you to disclose to me ? ' 

The voice of the questioner satisfied Alf, that it was 
the commander in chief whom he had caught and 
released on a former night ; he however concealed this 
recognition. 

' To make an end of the calamities of the city,' 
answered he, ' I am prepared to show your soldiers a 
way to enter Munster — the same way by which I 
have myself quitted it.' 

' I recognise that voice !' cried Oberstein, springing 
up, and stepping directly in front of the youth. ' We 



322 TALES FROM THE GERMAN. 

have met before,' said he ; * it surely Avas in the out- 
works before the new gate, by moonlight. You were 
the officer who took me prisoner and then let me run ? 
Is it not so ? ' 

' I was very glad,' answered Alf, ' that it was in my 
power to save so old and merry a warrior.' 

' And now are you willing to deliver the city to me ? ' 
proceeded Oberstein ; ' to make a short ending to her 
long sufferings ? You make me doubly your debtor ; 
your reward shall be great.' 

' Of myself little need be said,' answered Alf. 
' My conditions are only pardon for myself and my 
companion, and that the conqueror of the city shall 
distinguish between the miscreants who have wilfully 
erred, and those who with honest intentions have been 
led astray, and spare the latter.' 

' We must act according to the instructions of the 
diet of Worms,' said Oberstein. ' Whoever has not 
belonged to the leaders, and come not against us in 
arms, to them is given life and freedom.' 

' Then should the lord bishop,' boldly replied Alf, 
' have extended mercy to the unhappy refugees who 
have lately been fleeing from the city.' 

' The bishop was exceedingly exasperated by events 
which accompanied the revolution ! ' answered the 
general, shrugging his shoulders ; * and an angry man 
does not always what is right in the sight of God.' 

His eyes now fell upon Clara, who had timidly 
placed herself in an angle of the tent near the door. 

' Who is that pretty boy ? ' asked he. ' Some one 



THE ANABAPTIST. 323 

of the bishop's pages ? It is to be hoped so. Two 
pages were made prisoners by the anabaptists and 
carried off at the time they attacked our camp at the 
beginning of the siege. To one of them particularly 
the worthy bishop was attached by a truly paternal 
affection.' 

' Those boys have also fallen a sacrifice to the bar- 
barity of the king,' answered Alf. ' This maiden is 
the sister of the queen Eliza, who paid with her head 
for having lamented the murder of the innocents.' 

^ Great God, what an accumulation of crime ! ' cried 
Oberstein, while Fabricius with upraised finger re- 
provingly asked, ' have you brought with you a maiden 
in man's attire ? Must there not yet remain something 
of the old anabaptist leaven in you, which may in 
time again leaven the whole lump, destroying your 
morals for time and eternity ? ' 

'All in honor, dear doctor,' protested Alf ; 'and I 
shall have to request you, as soon as may be conven- 
ient, to unite me in honorable marriage with this 
blameless maiden, who is my beloved and betrothed 
bride.' 

' That alters the case,' said Fabricius, affectionately 
patting Clara's velvet cheeks. ' May God keep us in 
the good old order.' 

' The lord bishop's reverend and princely grace,' 
said an episcopalian officer, stepping in, ' sends his 
compliments to the lord general and politely requests 
him to repair immediately to his presence. An ana- 
baptist prisoner has brought before him some matters 



324 TALES FROM THE GERMAN. 

of consequence, which demand a sudden meeting of 
the council.' 

' You shall accompany me there,' said Oberstein to 
Alf. 

' But where shall I remain ? ' anxiously whispered 
Clara to her betrothed. 

* May I be permitted to confide the maiden to your 
care, worthy sir ? ' asked Alf of the doctor. 

' I will foster and protect her like a beloved daugh- 
ter,' answered Fabricius, taking Clara by the hand, — 
and with a light heart the youth then followed the 
ofeneral. 



CHAPTER XXVI. 



Glowing with anger and sorrow, Graf von Wal- 
deck, bishop of Munster, strode up and down in his 
gilded tent. At the door, with a pale malefactor 
face, stood poor Hanslein, in chains, and surrounded 
by guards. Oberstein and Alf entered. 

' This wretch,' cried the bishop to the general, 
' proposes to purchase his forfeited life by betraying 
the city. He has, however, three times forfeited his 
life, — formerly a rider in my cavalry, he wounded 
his superior officer and went over to the enemy, 
swearing allegiance and adopting their faith. I am 
half inclined to compel him to show us the way to 
Munster and then hang him ; for it would be con- 
trary to all right, human and divine, to allow him to 
escape punishment by such an act.' 

' The greatest right is often the greatest wrong,' 
said the general soothingly. * Too much severity is 
often injurious, and with your grace's permission, if 
the spiritual lords had not formerly held so rigidly to 
their notions of right and wrong, and had not wielded 
the rod of authority too vigorously, much of the mis- 
28 



326 TALES FROM THE GERMAN. 

chief against which the assembled christians of Ger- 
many of all denominations now appeal to heaven, 
would have been avoided. My voice is for mild- 
ness.' 

' You have lost none who were dear to you, through 
these monsters ! ' cried the bishop, making great ef- 
forts to suppress his tears. ' I have just learned, that 
the reprobate tailor has murdered both of my pages, 
for making an effort to rescue themselves from his 
paws.' 

' That is sad news,' said Oberstein, sympathising- 
ly ; ' but if you should outdo all these horrors by 
committing greater, you might thereby bring a stain 
upon your princely reputation ; but you would remedy 
no evil. My advice is, that you grant a free pardon 
to the deserter, and thereby obtain a faithful guide 
into the city, the speedy surrender of which is yet 
nearest your heart. A resort to the rack, is, in my 
mind, as it must be in that of every man, highly 
objectionable, beside being a very unsafe means of 
accomplishing our purpose.' 

' You may be right,' said the bishop, after a pause, 
somevvhat softened by the decided tone and plain 
good sense of the old warrior. 

' I bring you another individual who may be trusted 
to guide our forces to the attack of Munster,' pro- 
ceeded Oberstein, pointing to Alf, * and we shall be 
able by this means to divide and direct our troops.' 

' Is this he ? ' cried the bishop wuth suddenly re- 
kindled rage. ' Wretch ! thank God that I have you 



THE ANABAPTIST. 327 

in my power. You shall learn to your sorrow what 
it is to fall into my hands.' 

' What mean you, sir bishop?' asked the general. 
' What harm can have been done to you by a youth, 
whom you probably now see for the first time in 
your life ? ' 

* Oh J know him but too well,' raved the bishop. 
* When the lying prophet Matthias surprised our 
camp last year, this villain led the anabaptists as 
their commander. I saw him rushing onward at the 
head of his troops, as I was mounting my horse to 
escape the danger of capture.' 

' Heigh ! you are again strangely severe ! ' cried 
Oberstein. ' Misled, like thousands of others in the 
city, to whom you long ago offered a general pardon, 
the young man only fulfilled what at that time he 
considered his duty as a christian and a soldier. 
Now, however, he has become disgusted with the 
tailor's government, and has voluntarily come out 
to us.' 

' At that onslaught was my unhappy pupil 

taken prisoner with his companion ! ' cried the bishop. 
' Who was it, moreover, who dragged him to his 
death, but the profligate leader of that frantic host ? 
Matthias is already judged. This one has the Most 
High given into my hands, and if God from heaven 
should cry mercy ! he should die.' 

' Such a speech little becomes a prince, much less 
a spiritual lord,' said Oberstein with melancholy 
earnestness. * As for the rest, the duty of gratitude 



328 TALES FR03I THE GERMAN. 

at this time compels me to spare you the commission 
of a crime. This youth has saved my life. I will 
never deliver him up to your revenge.' 

* Forget not, sir earl,' cried the bishop angrily, 
' that I am a prince upon this ground, and that you 
are only general of the forces ! ' 

* The forces of the empire ! ' vehemently exclaimed 
Oberstein, — 'not yours, and I am expressly com- 
manded to execute the decrees of the Diet of Worms, 
— of which, as you appear to have forgotten it, it is 
my duty to remind you.' 

' Unheard of insolence ! ' growled the bishop. ' It 
may be worth while to inquire whether I am yet 
sovereign of Munster.' With fury in his rolling 
eyes, he beckoned to the door an officer who stood 
near him, as if he desired to confide to him an order 
of serious consequence. 

' Spare yourself steps, your princely grace, which 
you will be compelled to retrace,' said Oberstein ; 
and at that moment the bishop's body servant, a 
pious, blameless, silver haired old man, entered with 
his master's morning meal. 

' Jesus Maria ! ' screamed the servant the moment 
he saw Alf; and, letting fall the smoking platter, 
threw himself at the youth's feet and clasped his 
knees. ' God in his mercy has granted me an op- 
portunity to thank the preserver of my life ! ' cried 
he, sobbing. 

' Preserver of your life ! ' cried the bishop wonder- 
ingly. 



THE ANABAPTIST. 329 

' You are mistaken, father,' said Alf, gently putting 
aside the old man, * I do not know you at all.' 

' I am not more certain of future bliss,' said the 
old servant. ' Know you not, sir colonel, or whatever 
else you may have been, when you fell upon oar 
camp, with the terrible Matthias, and his princely 
grace had fled, and Matthias had broken into this 
tent, and had already cut down the cook and two 
lacqueys, and the pages were kneeling before him, 
and the Goliath-spear was already raised to destroy 
them. I stood in a corner tremblingly awaiting the 
moment when my turn would come. Then you 
rushed into the tent and valiantly stayed the mon- 
ster's upraised arm, although he was your superior, 
and commanded him and gave him hard words, and 
compelled him to spare their lives and take them with 
him prisoners to Munster. And then you dragged 
him away, together with the boys ; I, however, 
slipped out of my corner, and in this place I kneeled 
down and prayed a devout Ave Maria for myself, and 
two for the salvation of your poor soul, that God 
might rescue you from eternal death, as you had 
rescued me from the murderous prophet.' 

' How now, sir bishop ? ' said Oberstein, in an up- 
braiding tone. ' It appears that the youth saved the 
lives of those whose blood you would avenge on him. 
His crime is, that he could not be about them every 
moment to guard them against the beasts of prey 
who constantly beset their path.' 

' Can you swear upon the Host,' asked the bishop 
28* 



330 TALES FROM THE GERMAN, 

of the servant, ' that this is the man who saved the 
lives of the boys ? ' 

'As God may help me to a good dying moment!' 
answered the servant with his hand upon his heart. 

The traits of passion disappeared from the bishop's 
features. He advanced towards Alf and said sorrow- 
ing, ' thou hast meant well, my son, but God has 
willed it otherwise.' Then, turning to Oberstein, 
he proceeded, ' I leave both the deserters to your 
unfettered disposal, and shall expect from you some 
indication of what I can do for the youths. I trust 
you will forget our little misunderstanding, when you 
recollect in how many w^ays and how deeply I have 
been injured by all these enormities, as a man, as a 
father, as a temporal prince, and as a dignitary of 
the church.' 

Oberstein took the freely offered hand of the 
bishop, with a reverential bow ; after which the latter, 
with an humble air, passed to an inner apartment of 
the tent. At the nod of the general, Hanslein's 
chains fell from him. 

' It was hard clearing the gallows this time,' cried 
Hanslein, shaking himself. ' It shall be a warning 
to me forever to avoid the spiritual lords. I feared 
to make myself known to the general, who I supposed 
would not be able to comprehend my position ; and 
therefore I w^ent to the lord bishop; — but the crook, 
under which I had hoped safely to repose, had very 
nearly broken my brain-pan.' 

' That also must be an old acquaintance,' said 



THE ANABAPTIST. 331 

Oberstein, smilingly contemplating the chatterer. 
' I now recognise his features. Anxiety about his 
fate had lengthened them a little.' 

' Sure enough,' cried Hanslein, kissing his hand ; 
• and you, my prince of warriors, have spoken like 
a man in behalf of an unknown anabaptist, without 
suspecting that you were under obligations to him 
for a former service.' 

'Follow me now, children,' said the good general, 
' and forget in my tent all the trouble you have just 
experienced, and so put an end to the anxiety of the 
trembling little bride.' 

' With a thousand pleasures ! ' cried Hanslein ; 
' besides, it is not good to set up our tabernacle here.' 
With a few vigorous leaps he found himself before 
the general's tent. The others followed. 

' Perhaps you would like to be married to your 
little maiden to-day ? ' Oberstein affectionately asked 
of Alf, while on their way to the tent. ' There is no 
lack of monks and preachers in the camp. I will 
furnish forth the marriage feast, and you may safely 
reckon upon a magnificent wedding present from the 
bishop.' 

'Until the city is gained,' answered Alf, ' I must 
postpone the consummation of that holy act. If I 
should fall in the attack, then would my wife become 
an early widow, and more unhappy than if she 
mourned her promised bridegroom only as one 
betrothed. Besides, I cannot be married with any 
satisfaction, or really enjoy the greatest festival of 



332 TALES FROM THE GERMAN. 

my life, until my poor native city is freed from the 
domination of the devil who now lacerates her with 
his infernal claws. When good old Munster has 
found peace and safety I will seek the consummation 
of my own domestic happiness.' 

' Thou hast a good faith, my son,' cried Oberstein, 
pleased with the self-denial of the youth. 

By this time they stood before the general's tent, 
when they were met by Fabricius holding by the hand 
the amiable and sweetly smiling Clara, already mod- 
estly clad in the dress of her sex. 



CHAPTER XXVII. 



Yielding- to the voice of clemency, the worthy 
Oberstein sent messengers into the city to admonish 
them to surrender and save the lives of the starving 
people ; but the answer which orator Rothman gave 
in the presence of the king, was, like the preceding 
one, the sending back of the messengers with a 
paraphrase of the passage in the prophet Daniel of 
the four ferocious beasts, in the description of which, 
he said, the bishop might easily learn to know him- 
self. 

The last of mercy's sands had finally run, and the 
next night was determined on for the attack. It was 
on the 13th of June, 1-533, an hour before midnight, 
that Hanslein, in perfect silence, led five hundred 
volunteers through the shallow place in the ditch and 
thence upon the walls. The sleeping sentinels were 
cut down, and the detachment reached the little gate 
without hindrance. This was broken down and the 
soldiers rushed into the city. The alarm was, how- 
ever, now given. The armed burghers, who had 
hastily collected, beat back the last of the entering 



334 TALES FR03I THE GERMAN. 

troops, closed, and occupied the gate, and then at- 
tacked with redoubled rage those who had already 
entered. An hour and a half they endured the 
bloody onslaught in the dark, until Hanslein with the 
rest of his band broke through the nearest weakly 
guarded gate. The commander in chief, guided by 
Alf, waited for this event with the main force ; and, 
as the gate was burst open from within and its wings 
flew asunder, the bishop's troops poured with loud 
cries into the city. The victory was not, however, 
yet won. Each footstep in advance was at the ex- 
pense of much blood of the half starved fanatics ; 
and when finally Oberstein with resistless power 
forced them back, they retired only towards the 
market-place at St. Lambert's church ; there once 
more to make a stand. Here was the king, who 
had suddenly sprung from his bed, with the best 
of his people, and this availed to renew the fight. 
Bloodily the red morning rose upward over the pro- 
miscuous slaughter ; and the battle, now that friends 
and enemies could rightly discern each other, became 
regular ; by which the anabaptists gained nothing. 
Alf kept himself constantly at the side of the general, 
only defending himself when necessary, as he did 
not like to draw his sword against his fellow citizens ; 
but now, amid the tumult, he caught a glimpse of 
the infamous Johannes as he was stimulating his 
troops to the fight. Then the wrath of the youth 
kindled into a mightier flame. ' Eliza ! ' cried he, 
urging his horse to the place occupied by the king. 



THE ANABAPTIST. 335 

Right and left the foot-soldiers were overthrown 
before the hoofs of his springing charger, and he soon 
approached the spot. ' Eliza ! ' cried he once again, 
as he reached the king, — and, as if he did not hold 
the monster worthy a soldier's blade, he struck him 
so heavily on his mailed breast with the hilt of his 
sword, that he shrunk almost double. Then, with a 
strong hand, he lifted the swooning king from his 
horse, and taking him like a stolen maiden before 
himself on the pummel of his saddle, darted back 
to the commander in chief* * I bring you here the 
torch of this unrighteous war,' said he. ' Dispose of 
him as you deem proper.' 

' The bishop has expressly reserved to himself,' 
answered Oberstein, with sad earnestness, * the duty 
of deciding on the fate of the leaders. Therefore 
take a sufficient number of men ; let the wretch be 
strongly chained, and hold him in close custody. 
I shall require him at your hands when the proper 
time arrives. You may safely count upon your 
reward/ 

The battle had continued until now. Orator 
Rothman, observing the capture of the king, and 
despairing of the fortune of the day, precipitated 
himself, sword in hand, upon the thickest crowds of 
the enemy, that he might not fall into their hands 
alive ; and fell, bravely fighting, more honorably than 
he had lived. Knipperdolling and Krechting having 
disappeared, the rest of the anabaptists, deprived of 
their frantic leaders, and terrified by the universal 



336 TALES FROM THE GERMAN. 

massacre, threw away their arms and begged for 
quarter, which the commander in chief immediately- 
granted. The worthy old general gazed sorrowfully 
upon the dead and dying, who deluged the market- 
place with their blood, and upon the pale, meagre 
countenances, distorted by the sufferings they had 
experienced, of those who were left ; and observed 
with heartfelt compassion, ' poor fools, you might 
have obtained pardon at a cheaper rate ! ' 



CHAPTER XXVIII. 



The next morning the bishop entered the tranquil- 
ized city at the head of fifteen hundred horsemen. All 
the houses had been strictly searched ; during which 
operation many a mad fanatical spirit was found, and 
the exasperated soldiery did not always respect the 
general pardon which had been granted. Among 
others Knipperdolling and Krechting were drawn from 
their lurking holes ; but their lives, with a cruel, cal- 
culating forbearance were spared for a future and more 
solemn execution. Alf's testimony as to the total 
inactivity and inoffensiveness of his kinsman, the 
butcher-burgomaster-treasurer, and also of the tailor- 
duodecemvir-lord-steward, Dilbek, rescued both from 
imprisonment and death. The first, Alf charged with 
the duty of collecting his little property, as well as that 
of Trutlinger's niece, converting it into money and 
sending it after him, by the first convenient opportunity, 
to the place where he might thereafter take up his 
abode ; he not feeling disposed to remain in his native 
city after what he had experienced there, — and be- 
sides, the bishop, notwithstanding the favor he shewed 
29 



338 TALES FRO 31 THE GERMAN. 

him during the audience, had not gained his approba- 
tion to such a degree as to induce him to wish to dwell 
under his sceptre. 

Nor was the bishop yet quite disposed to make his 
home at the episcopal residence. He drove out to 
castle Dulmen, three miles from Munster, on the 
day of his entrance ; thereby giving to Oberstein a 
fine opportunity to execute the decisions of the Diet of 
Worms in relation to the unfortunate city without the 
interference of its irritable master. He did every thing 
in his power to mitigate the measureless distress of 
the citizens. Plentiful supplies of provisions put an 
end to the torments of hunger. A general pardon, 
which the bishop himself could not avoid signing, 
relieved the Munsterers from their incessant and 
excessive fears of being yet reached by the sword of 
judicial power. Only the king, Knipperdolling and 
Krechting were excepted from this pardon. Every 
one, protestant or catholic, besieged or emigrant, was 
allowed to take his property out of the public repository 
where the prophet had sequestered it. The refugees 
returned again ; particularly the expelled burgomaster 
and aldermen, who immediately resumed their func- 
tions, and every thing appeared as if the city was well 
pleased to find itself returning to the old order of 
things. 

Three days had thus passed away. Early on the 
fourth, Oberstein sent for Alf. ' I have caused St. 
Lambert's church to be repaired and embellished a 
little,' said the general to him. ' It looked as drear 



THE ANABAPTIST. 339 

and desolate in its large plundered interior, as if the 
Zihim and Ohim ^ were to rule in it — and the poor 
people must truly have some external show with their 
public worship. We must in some measure provide 
for an impression upon their senses, because their 
thoughts and feelings are confined within a narrow 
circle. If you please my young friend, we will go 
together and observe what great things the painters 
and garnishers have accomplished in so short a time.' 

Alf proceeded to the church with the old hero, and 
could not refrain from expressing his surprise when 
he found the lateral walks wholly desolate and un- 
trimmed. 

' Only be patient, the best is yet to come,' said the 
smiling Oberstein, consolingly, and passed into the 
next lateral walk, where, turning suddenly, they found 
themselves before the freshly gilded and well adorned 
high altar. Before it, with the church service in his 
hand, stood doctor Fabricius in his priestly robes. With 
a myrtle wreath in her blond hair, in a simple white 
dress, her eyes cast down, her cheeks glowing with 
love, joy and shame, stood the faithful little Clara, 
opposite the youth ; while his kinsman Gerhard, 
Hanslein, and the old body servant of the bishop, as 
witnesses of the marriage ceremony, approached to 
wish him joy. 

' Oh my God ! ' cried Alf, surprised and enraptur- 
ed, — and the worthy Oberstein himself accompanied 
the pair before the clergyman. 

* Evil spirits. 



340 TALES FROM THE GERMAN. 

The YES was spoken — the benediction pronounced — 
and Alf had seized the hand of his young wife to lead 
her out of church — when an episcopalian officer 
entered and delivered to the general a letter of which 
he was the bearer. 

Oberstein opened, read, and angrily stamped his 
foot. * No joy without interruption,' cried he. ' More 
than a year have we been detained before these ras- 
cally walls without any interruption of the everlasting 
sameness. This is the first day which I had thought 
to spend happily here, and now this is to be marred 
by such a bum-bailiff commission I I cannot help you, 
my dear bridegroom,' proceeded he, turning to Alf; 
' the bishop here commands that you immediately bring 
to Dulmen, under a strong guard, the tailor-king 
whom you took prisoner.' 

' Is not my marriage a sufficient excuse ? ' asked Alf 
dejectedly. 

' With the bishop, hardly,' w^hispered Oberstein to 
him. ' Man-service goes before God-service with these 
proud prelates — and we have already, on account of 
the poor Munsterers, every motive to keep him in as 
good a humor as possible. It will be fortunate if he 
satiate his anger upon the wretch whom you are about 
to conduct to him.' 

' Poor little Clara,' sighed Alf, printing a passionate 
and sorrowful kiss upon the lips of the maiden. 

' He named you and thought of himself,' said Ober- 
stein, jestingly; ' but in order that the happy couple 
may not be separated on this first day of their espousal, 



THE ANABAPTIST. 341 

I will ride out to Dulmen and endeavor to get you 
excused by the lord bishop.' 

' You are very good ! ' said the little bride, bending 
over the hand of the gray old general and pressing 
it to her lips. 

29^ 



CHAPTER XXIX. 



At Dulmen, in the hall of state, sat the prince-bishop 
upon his gilded throne. On each side of him were 
placed his counsellors and field officers. At a table 
covered with rich red cloth, sat two secretaries with 
ready pens. Oberstein had announced the tailor-king, 
and after a short conversation with the bishop resumed 
his place. The bishop made a signal — the guards 
opened the door, and, accompanied by Alf, Johannes 
entered, loaded with chains and very pale ; but with a 
proud and solemn bearing, casting round upon the 
assembly his wild, impudent and bold glance. 

' That is the murderer of my son,' sighed the bishop 
in a suppressed tone to Oberstein, covering his face 
with his hands from grief and horror. 

' Remember that you are here as a prince and 
judge, and not as a party,' whispered Oberstein in 
return. 

The bishop recovered himself with difficulty. 
' Wretched man,' cried he vehemently to the crimi- 
nal : * wherefore hast thou ruined my defenceless 
people ? ' 



THE ANABAPTIST. 343 

'I have not done less than you deserve, priest!' 
answered Johannes, as proudly as if Zion's crown had 
yet stood upon his head. * I have given into thy hand 
a strong city which can stand against every power. 
Nevertheless if I have injured you I have sufficient 
means to make you reparation, in case you will hut 
follow my counsels.' 

' Wretch ! ' growled the bishop, ' how wilt thou 
compensate for a single drop of the innocent blood 
which thou hast caused to flow in streams ? ' 

* Human blood,' said Johannes, scornfully, ' comes 
not into the account in the reckoning of kings. Here 
we can only speak respecting the restitution of 
money. Therefore shut me up in an iron cage as 
Tamerlane did Bajazet, take me through the neigh-^ 
boring countries and show me for money — you will 
make more out of me in that way than the whole siege 
has cost.' 

The whole assembly broke out into a loud cry of 
astonishment and displeasure at the unparalleled 
insolence of the criminal, whose life hung upon the 
nod of his judge. 

The latter w^as paralyzed by the extent of the mon- 
ster's profligacy. He soon however recovered himself, 
and silently viewed him for a long time with a horrible 
smile upon his countenance, 

' My God ! ' murmured Alf, when he saw that smile ; 
' this will end tragically.' 

' Thou hast advised w^ell, wise Solomon,' said the 
bishop with great calmness. ' Be it done to thee ac- 



344 TALES FROM THE GERMAN. 

cording to thy words. Deliver up your prisoner to the 
constable of the castle,' he commanded Alf. * Let him 
be confined in the murderer's cell until further orders 
— and do you convey to the smiths of Munster my 
command that they immediately make three iron cages 
of a man's height. Therein shall this man and his 
coadjutors be conducted round the land as he himself 
has desired, and be shown to the people as they are 
accustomed to show wdid beasts. What further is to 
be done with the worthy trio, shall be duly pronounced 
at the proper time in the criminal court.' 

With unaltered pride Johannes suffered himself 
to be led forth by Alf. The bishop dismissed the 
assembly. Only Oberstein remained with him, — 
and now Alf returned to announce that he had depos- 
ited his prisoner in his dungeon. 

' It was you who captured the hyaena who butch- 
ered my children for me,' cried the bishop with 
horrible j oy. * I thank you for the opportunity to 
avenge on him the blood of all his victims ! Oh that 
he had more than one life ! Say, what reward do you 
desire for the deed ! ' 

' Such a reward would be the price of blood,' thought 
Alf, ' and therefore God preserve me from it.' 

' Would you like a good military or civil office at 
my court ? ' asked the bishop in his desire to express 
his gratitude. 

* I am a protestant, most reverend sir,' answered 
Alf: ' and hope to die in the evangelical faith; but if 
I may prefer a petition to you, I have to request that 



THE ANABAPTIST. 345 

you will permit me without ceremony or hindrance to 
take my own and my wife's property to the place where 
I am to settle myself.' . 

* Are you determined absolutely not to remain 
in my territories ? ' asked the bishop resentfully. 

' I think of procuring for him a captaincy from the 
elector of Saxony,' said Oberstein, with a view of 
softening the effect of Alf's short and ungracious 
reply. 

* Pardon me sir earl,' said Alf, ' for respectfully de- 
clining that favor also. I have lately seen so many 
people commanded, and so many evils have been 
caused by the orders given — and I myself in my 
simplicity have done so much mischief by my own 
commands, that I have become utterly disgusted with 
the whole business. Wherefore I have solicited the 
reverend doctor Fabricius to seek me out a quiet 
little place in Hesse Cassel, were I may honorably 
employ myself as an armorer and enjoy the society of 
my wife and the children with which God may bless 
our union, until my happy end.' 

' Do you not think he has chosen the wisest part ? ' 
asked Oberstein of the bishop, at the same time leaving 
the room. 

' O that I could find in Munster a hundred burghers 
like this who now deserts me ! ' said the bishop, through 
forgetfulness, laying his hand in blessing upon the 
heretic's head. 

* Think well of my request, reverend sir,' said 
Alf, bowing low and following his friend and protector. 



CHAPTER XXX. 



When the happy Clara opened her blue eyes on 
the first morning after her marriage, she saw that 
her young husband was already awake and sitting 
upright in bed as if in deep and earnest meditation 
upon some important matter. She threw her arms 
about his neck, kissed him tenderly and asked him 
what he was meditating upon so intently. 

' Upon my future destiny, and the decision I must 
make as to what business I shall hereafter pursue, 
my dear wife,' answered he with seeming earnest- 
ness. * So many offers were made to me yesterday 
that I hardly know which of them to embrace. The 
lord bishop wishes to retain me with him, either in 
a military capacity or as an officer of his court, as I 
may choose ; for the latter of which I suppose I am 
more particularly well qualified. I can also at any 
moment become a captain in the service of the elec- 
tor of Saxony.' 

' You surely will not accept of either of them ? ' 
cried Clara, anxiously. * Leave those high honors 
and dignities to others, and be satisfied with the 



THE ANABAPTIST. 347 

quiet domestic happiness which awaits you, and 
which your unambitious disposition is best calculated 
to enjoy. Remain what you are, a good armorer ! 
As such only have I joined hands with you, before 
God's altar, in the holy bands of matrimony. If now 
you wish the captaincy, or a seat in the royal council, 
then have you deceived me, even at the moment of 
marriage, and that would be very wrong in a bride- 
groom.' 

* God be praised !' joyfully exclaimed Alf, pressing 
her to his bosom. ' That is precisely what I desired 
to hear from you, my dear Clara. I only wished to 
ascertain whether you agreed with me upon a most 
important question ; and behold, our wishes and 
opinions are as similar as if we had been made for 
each other.' 

' Ah, that w^as always clear to me from the first 
moment I saw you,' stammered Clara, blushing ; 
' and it used to render me truly miserable to see that 
you had eyes only for my unfortunate sister.' 

' Peace to her ashes ! ' said Alf with emotion ; 
' but I now perceive quite clearly that she would 
have been no wife for me. What God brings to pass 
is intended for our good.' 

At that moment began under the windows, ar- 
ranged by the wedding guests, an excellent morning 
serenade ; and the vocalists, falling in, sang to the 
bridal pair, in Martin Luther's w^ords : * 

* We use the version of Dr. Watts. — Tr. 



343 TALES FROM THE GERMAN. 

' Oh happy man, whose soul is fill'd 

With zeal and reverend awe ! 
His lips to God their honors yield, 
His life adorns the law. 

* A careful Providence shall stand 

And ever guard thy head, 

Shall on the labors of thy hand. 

Its kindly blessings shed.' 

w 

* Shall on the labors of thy hand,' — said the 
young couple joyfully to each other at the same 
moment, and Alf smilingly remarked ; ' now we 
shall be sure to live together at least a year, my 
Clara, since we both had the same thought at the 
same time.' 

Again sang the choir : 

^ Thy wife shall be a fruitful vine ; 

Thy children round thy board, 
Each like an olive-plant shall shine, 

And learn to fear the Lord. 

* The Lord shall thy best hopes fulfil 

For months and years to come ; 

The Lord who dwells on Zion's hill, 

Shall send thee blessings home.' 

Reminded of the pleasures of paternity, Alf pressed 
his beloved wife yet closer, while she hid her blushing 
face in his bosom. They listened with delighted 
attention to the remainder of the hymn, and when 
the last verse came they joined in with a pious ecsta- 
sy, and in thankful remembrance of all that God had 
done for them : 



THE ANABAPTIST, 349 

f To Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, 

The God whom we adore, 
Be everlasting honors paid 

Henceforth, fore verm ore.' 



30 



CHAPTER XXXI. 



Having obtained an honorable discharge from the 
army of the Diet, Alf settled himself with his young- 
wife under the shadow of Fabricius's wing at Cassel, 
as a respectable armorer. The property which he 
took with him from Munster, together with the rich 
marriage presents which he received from the bishop 
and count Oberstein, rendered him a well conditioned 
burgher. He enjoyed the blessings of a middle 
station in society, in an unusual measure, and the 
painful remembrance of what he had experienced, 
performed, and suffered, was merged by degrees in 
the feeling of repose, and in the quiet enjoyment 
of well merited prosperity. 

Meanwhile the timid and exasperated bishop began 
to bring poor Munster fully under the yoke ; so that 
it should never again be able to raise its head in 
rebellion. Two castles arose towering over the city, 
Avith the aid of which he hoped easily to suppress 
every disturbance, and occasionally to curtail some of 
the ancient privileges of the people ; but the ambas- 
sadors of the Circle, who suddenly appeared in Mun- 



THE ANABAPTIST. 351 

ster, efficaciously remedied this fault and many 
others. The peaceable citizens of Munster, whom 
he had compelled to perform all sorts of labor, were 
protected ; the fortifications of the anabaptists as well 
as the castles of the bishop were razed; and the 
latter was compelled to permit a decision, by a trial 
and sentence, upon the fate of the tailor-king and 
his companions, who, until then, had been, in mock- 
ery and scorn, dragged through all the neighboring 
parts of Germany in their cages. In February of 
the year 1536, the three criminals were finally led to 
the scafibld. However great was their guilt, the 
cruelty of their punishment seemed unworthy the 
mercy which should have been exercised by the 
spiritual lords, from whom alone a mitigation of their 
sentence could emanate ; but who commanded its 
execution with unrelenting severity. 

* Holy God!' exclaimed Aif, when he heard 
of their unhappy end ; ' whither will not fanaticism 
lead its unhappy devotees ! Happy is he who con- 
fines his attention to the narrow circle of his house- 
hold and his business, and who does not forget that 
prayer and labor are the best antidotes to vain 
imaginings. Thrice happy is the man to whom God 
grants a good wife, who, with gentle power, draws 
him from the wild impulses of the world, and with 
flowery chains binds him to his own hearth. 
Under that hearth lies buried the true treasure 
of life, w^hich so few have the desire and happiness 
to raise. We have disinterred it, have we not, my 



3-52 TALES FROM THE GERMAN. 

Clara ? When the olive plants stand around us, 
which Dr. Luther has promised, what shall we then 
lack ? ' Saying this, he laid his hand affectionately 
upon his young wife, who was most assiduously 
spinning at the opposite side of the table. At first, 
with a sweet smile, she clasped her beloved husband's 
hand, and then passing quickly round the table, she 
fell upon his neck. * Lord God, we thank thee!' 
cried the superlatively happy husband, glowing with 
love and gratitude.